A new body called Tillage Industry Ireland (TII) has been established by a number of stakeholders in the tillage sector to provide a unified approach to the sector’s development.

The group will be made up of sellers of inputs, buyers of grain, producers of feed, suppliers of seed and services, as well as growers.

Those involved felt the tillage sector had been largely ignored in the development of Irish agriculture and saw the need for a coordinated approach. The importance of transparency and sustainability to modern consumers will be a key area of focus for TII.

Currently there are eight different organisations involved including; the merchant groups Independent Merchants Ltd and the Federation of Agricultural Retail Merchants, the Irish Farmers’ Association grain committee, the Animal and Plant Health Association, the Irish Seed Trade Association, the Irish Fertilizer Manufacturers Association, the Irish Tillage Consultants Association and the Irish Farmers Journal.

As there are a number of vested interest groups, they will continue to lobby individually for issues important to them while TII focuses on changing the current perception of tillage and Irish crops.

The new group has already commissioned an independent report to ascertain the contribution of the tillage sector to Irish agriculture and the rural economy.

Matt Dempsey is to act as president. He will work alongside a board and officers who are; chairman Andy Doyle, secretary Richie Hackett and treasurer John Keogh.

Matt Dempsey, said that: “Tillage Industry Ireland aims to develop a vision for a sustainable and competitive tillage sector within Irish agriculture. This will be built around innovation, high quality and full traceability throughout the food chain. It also aims to provide a single unified voice for the sector and to promoting the benefits of an integrated agriculture sector for sustainability.

“It will strive to promote the production and marketing of quality traceable foods, drinks and feedstuffs. It will also have a focus on providing solutions for environmental issues such as water quality and biodiversity and emissions from agriculture”.

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