TheIrish Farmers’ Association (IFA) wants to send a positive message at its upcoming protest about what Irish farmers do and to highlight how important that is for the production of high-quality food, supporting rural Ireland and contributing to the Irish economy as a whole.
IFA president Tim Cullinan said the Save Irish Farming rally planned for Sunday 21 November at Merrion Square, Dublin, “will see different generations come to Dublin to interact with families outside the farming community”.
He said the protest which plans to have a “strong family focus” will highlight how the “farm family is the cornerstone on which the wider agri-food sector is built”.
Cullinan said: “Farm families are genuinely fearful about what the future holds. We hear all of these high-level targets being announced but we have no clarity about what this will mean at farm level.”
It must provide a future that is economically and socially sustainable, as well as being environmentally sustainable
“[Farmers] are very conscious of the climate challenge and the need to play their part but it can’t decimate our incomes. It must provide a future that is economically and socially sustainable, as well as being environmentally sustainable.”
Cullinan said recent Government policy proposals, including those on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are “all about reducing production and adding cost”.
“The CAP is there to support farmers to produce food. It cannot be expected to fund climate action as well. The Government needs to come forward with a proper plan, with proper funding behind it.”
The IFA hopes the event will highlight the importance of farming to the Irish economy and send a strong message to Government that they “need to sit down with elected farm leaders to make an agreed plan for the sector”.
Cullinan encouraged all farm families to come to Dublin on 21 November and said he wants “to work with Government on climate action” but called for “real engagement”.