DEAR SIR: I find the recent comments by Ciarán Cuffe MEP, as offensive, misplaced and totally out of touch.

In calling on the banking sector not to lend to dairy farmers, he is abusing his position of power and is trying to stifle dairy farmers once again.

Dairy farmers are pro-active and are constantly investing in improvements in efficiency and technology.

For example:

  • Extra or improved slurry storage to help prevent pollution.
  • LESS slurry equipment to give better performance results and to help cut back ammonia emissions.
  • Updating dairy equipment to be more energy-efficient and investment in technology which will allow us to make better use of our time.
  • We are moving with the times and technology comes with a cost. If we don’t have access to finance, then we will be hindered in our attempts to play our part in climate and emissions improvements in our industry.

    Ciarán Cuffe is wrong to question this. His comments go against the green agenda and would not allow farmers to achieve set targets. Ciarán Cuffe should use his position as an MEP to help get low-cost finance that’s available to our European colleagues to us here in this country.

    He should also apologise to farmers in this country for his ignorance of our sector. Dairy farmers have the lowest carbon footprint in all of the EU. If we can’t invest in our future, we won’t have one. This will lead to food shortage – then we will see carbon intensification with food having to be imported thousands of miles from less environmentally friendly countries.

    I am calling on our rural TDs, from the larger political parties in Government, to stand up against this nonsense and defend all farmers.