The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has extended a cautious welcome to the newly-published Food Vision 2030 plan, taking the opportunity to voice the organisation’s belief that food prices will need to rise for sustainability proposals to be implemented on farms.

The farm organisation believes that whilst the strategy’s ambitions for the next 10 years are achievable, the end cost of food will have to rise to cover the increased production costs associated with increasing farm sustainability.

According to ICMSA president, Pat McCormack, the cost element of the sustainability proposals have not been addressed by the Minister for Agriculture or other senior members of Government.

Department officials must address these increased food costs as the costs will not be borne entirely by farmers, he added.

“There is a fundamental and disqualifying incoherence at the heart of Ireland’s drive to greater food and climate sustainability,” the ICMSA president stated.

“We want to get there but our Government seems afraid to break the news that we are all – including the consumer – going to have to pay the real costs involved."

Supply chain

McCormack stated that Minister McConalogue failed to address the increased costs when asked to do so in a radio interview on Tuesday.

The ICMSA president said that ambiguity still surrounds the promise that the cost burden will be shared at all levels on the agri-food supply chain.

“Instead of just answering that the costs of the transition to greater sustainability will have to be borne by all the links in the food supply chain including the consumer, we got another dissembling reply that reinforces the myth out there that, somehow, all the costs associated with this historic shift are going to be magically absorbed by the farmer and producers,” McCormack concluded.