Incoming IFA president Tim Cullinan has criticised the Green Party for its policy to get rid of the nitrates derogation.
Addressing up to 100 farmers at the north Tipperary IFA AGM, Cullinan pointed out the dependency of the county on the dairy industry.
He stated that people would “have to make up their own mind” on how they voted in the upcoming general election but highlighted the difficulty in accepting a Green Party policy that would cause extreme difficulty for dairy farmers. He acknowledged that dairy farmers had a “body of work” to do on climate issues but said that the Government needed to focus on other issues, including renewable energy on farms and emissions from transport.
Cullinan also criticised beef factories and called for an immediate increase in prices, saying that factories were still “playing games”. He said he was in the process of meeting the head of the three meat processors, with one meeting complete and the next two meetings expected to take place in the coming weeks.
He remained reticent in his support for the Beef Market Taskforce – one of the measures set up after summer factory protests - but said that it had brought some positive elements to the beef trade.
“I’m not a big fan of a big group of people in a room trying to get a resolution but it has brought some clarity,” he said.
Cullinan thanked members in north Tipperary for turning out in droves to vote for him during the IFA election.
The campaign promise of injecting change into the IFA proved controversial in some circles during the election but he reiterated his pledge to honour it.
"I really want to say a special thanks to everyone here in this room,” he said. “I ran the campaign on a policy of change. We all know there were problems in the association.
“There’s a huge responsibility on me to deliver that. One thing I can say is that it won’t be for the want of trying.”
He gave a special thanks during the meeting to his campaign manager and north Tipperary chair Imelda Walsh.
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