Ireland can become a global leader in climate-smart agriculture
Respondents to a new survey believe that better fertiliser use, more research and innovation and optimised land use can help Ireland become a global leader in climate-smart agriculture.

Ireland can be become a global leader in climate-smart agriculture, according to 86% of respondents to a new survey due to be released later today at a leadership forum on climate-smart agriculture in the RDS.

The survey was conducted by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and the RDS, with the support of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII), Diageo, and other private and public sector partners.

The survey reached a national and international sample of experts and industry stakeholders. Over four-fifths, or 86%, of respondents from the national sample, which included non-government organisations (NGOs), government, agri-business, researchers and farmers, said establishing Irish leadership on climate-smart agriculture could directly benefit the agri-food sector.

Boosting Exports

However, with the government aiming to boost the value of our agri-food exports by 85% to €19 billion over the next decade, 80% of respondents from the national sample said meeting these objectives is made challenging by our EU obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The respondents were also very clear on the domestic action required to establish Ireland as a global leader on climate-smart agriculture. They identified better use of fertiliser, boosting research and innovation, and optimising land use as among the most important success factors.

Almost nine out of 10, or 87%, said economically and environmentally optimising our land resource, between dairy, beef, tillage and forestry, is a key climate-smart strategy.

Tom Arnold, the IIEA’s Director General, said: “We hope that the climate-smart agriculture leadership forum will catalyse new thinking on climate-smart agriculture, with a shift towards more sustainable environmental and economic solutions for an industry whose scale is domestic and global.”

Seán Molloy, GII’s Director of Strategy and Supplier Relations, said: “Ireland’s agri-food sector is strong, and GII’s commitment to quality of source ingredients, security of supply, and sustainability are key components of our customer value proposition.”

“Already, GII’s pasture-based family farming method of dairying produces a highly sustainable range of quality ingredients. We have prioritised sustainability as a key business focus in our Open Source Sustainability and Quality Assurance Code,” added Molloy.

The IIEA – RDS leadership forum on climate-smart agriculture will take place at 2.30pm today (Thursday) in the RDS, Dublin.

Beef and dairy bosses demand Brexit action from Creed
Imposing tariffs on exports would "cripple trade", meat and dairy factory representatives have warned.

Beef and dairy bosses braced for a hard Brexit have handed a list of demands to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

With 65 days remaining to salvage a Brexit deal, the nightmare scenario of a no-deal is becoming ever more likely.

A delegation including Aurivo’s Aaron Forde, ABP’s Martin Kane, Larry Murrin of Dawn Farms Foods, Cormac Healy of Meat Industry Ireland and Conor Mulvihill of Dairy Industry Ireland, met with Minister Creed on Tuesday.

Dairy co-ops want dual British-Irish status for Northern Ireland milk, export refunds and other trade supports. They called for a freeze on tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit and direct income aid for farmers.

Meat factory representatives warned that if tariffs are imposed on exports to the UK “it would cripple trade”, with the additional danger of sterling devaluation in a no-deal outcome.

They called for extra resources to ensure speedy border checks and increased ferry capacity and routes for direct shipping to the continent.

While European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan reassured farmers Brussels is poised to swoop to their aid, a Commission spokesman confirmed a hard border is inevitable unless the British reach an agreement with the EU or delay their withdrawal.

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No-deal Brexit to add 21c/l in cheddar processing costs

EU 'stands ready' to support farmers - Hogan
European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan has assured farmers that Europe is planning for all possible outcomes from Brexit negotiations.

European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan has moved to reassure farmers that the EU stands ready to intervene in markets to protect prices in the event of a hard Brexit.

“We have to prepare for the worst. The European Union stands ready to help Irish and EU farmers in the event of a hard Brexit,” Commissioner Hogan said, addressing a crowd of more than 250 farmers at the Kilkenny IFA annual dinner dance on Saturday night.

“We have the tools ready to intervene, including Aid to Private Storage, intervention and a revision of state aid rules,” he added.


His words will help give farmers comfort that, while Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has been slow to commit to supports, plans for a safety net at EU level are well advanced.

Hogan reassured farmers that the EU is ready for all scenarios, but warned that the Government must also be ready and ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to ensure products can continue to move through ports.


While a no-deal Brexit paints a gloomy picture, vice president of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness is reminding farmers that it could be avoided if a deal is reached between the EU and UK. But, she says, plans are being put in place to deal with a no-deal scenario.

“There are deep concerns about the consequences,” McGuinness told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“We will need to be looking at how you are going to support a vulnerable sector, that will call for money.

"All of those things will have to be discussed in the short period of time before the United Kingdom leaves.”

Lamb prices rocketing ahead
The trade for all types of lamb is strong currently boosting farmers' confidence in the sector.

Factory agents are scouring the country in the hunt for slaughter-fit lambs.

Prices have hardened significantly over the past number of weeks.

Farmers are securing €5.25/kg to €5.30/kg, with specialised feeders negotiating in excess of €5.40/kg for lambs.

The mart trade is booming for all types of lambs currently.

Fleshed factory-fit lambs are selling over €120/head, with €125/head common for lambs weighing over 50kg.

The store lamb trade is on fire, with prices of €2.50/kg to €2.80/kg and higher being recognised for hill-bred lambs.