Over 200 attend Brussels event to bid farewell to IFA European Affairs Director
The IFA European Affairs Director Michael Treacy has formally stepped down after 25 years in the role.

Over 200 guests, including EU commissioner Phil Hogan, attended an event last week in Brussels to bid farewell to the IFA’s Director of European Affairs, Michael Treacy who has stepped down from the role.

The Kildare man has served the IFA for over 25 years and is widely seen as a top lobbyist in the European political capital.

Treacy handed over the reins to Liam McHale in November, who joins the IFA from Bord Bia, where he has worked since 2006, first as Country Manager in Germany/Eastern Europe and more recently managing Italy, Switzerland and Greece.

From Ballina, Co Mayo, McHale is educated to Masters of Business Science level and speaks five continental languages, French, German, Italian, Czech and Portuguese, in addition to English.

Paying tribute to Michael Treacy, IFA President Eddie Downey said he had played an outstanding role in all IFA’s major European campaigns over the past 25 years. He has gained huge influence and respect in Brussels. “I am confident that Liam will quickly build his own profile in Brussels and ensure that Irish farmers continue to be strongly represented at the highest level.”

Michael Treacy had a major impact behind the scenes in protecting Irish farmers' interests, particularly in relation to the evolving Common Agricultural Policy during the various rounds of reform. He also maintained a very close eye on developments in the area of world trade rules, in order to protect the Irish farm family structure.

The farmer's daily wrap: Castleblayney, chlorothalonil and Brexit
Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for 23 March 2019.

Weather forecast

Saturday is forecast to be generally dry and bright, with good spells of sunshine through the day and just a few showers across Ulster.

Met Éireann has said that it will be a fairly cool day though, with highs of 7 to 9 degrees in light to moderate westerly breezes.

In the news

  • Farmers left unpaid by the liquidation of EP Nugent Ltd, the company operating Castleblayney Mart, have decided to take legal action.
  • The discontinuation of chlorothalonil is a hammer blow to Irish tillage farmers, Irish Grain Growers Group chair Bobby Miller has said.
  • There would be a 9.2% fall in primary and manufacturing employment in Monaghan if WTO tariffs were applied in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
  • There is a mixed bag of weather for the weekend ahead, but it will be mostly cool and dry on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Independent TD Denis Naughten has said that it is time for action on beef grading machines in meat factories.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • Balla Mart report.
  • Good week/bad week.
  • Stories from the 2018 Irish Farmers Journal Agricultural Land Price Report.
    Pig prices are below the cost of production – IFA pig chair
    IFA pig chair Tom Hogan has said that price increases from the pig factories are not coming quick enough.

    The pig price is around €1.40c/kg to €1.46c/kg since it increased two weeks ago, but for most pig farmers, the increase in price is not coming quick enough, IFA pig chair Tom Hogan has said.

    He told the Irish Farmers Journal on Friday evening that the current prices are below the cost of production.

    “With feed costs at the moment, we would want to be getting €1.60c/kg. Feed costs haven’t come down as they usually do. The compounders should be pulling back on price.

    Another price rise

    “We got a price rise two weeks ago and the indications are that we could get another price wise, maybe as early as next week.

    “There is a positive outlook going forward, but for most people these increases are not coming quick enough,” he said.

    The IFA has said that there has been a slight decrease in the weekly pig kill and increased demand, which is helping to put more competition into the market place.

    Read more

    More small pigs as litter sizes increase

    Leanne Kiernan: the goal-den girl

    Farmer Writes: farmers selling pigs for cashflow reasons

    Watch: new Agri Aware campaign to air in cinemas and on TV
    The ‘Many Hats, One CAP’ advert is set to air on television and in cinemas in the coming weeks, with the campaign highlighting how important investment in agriculture is to the wider Irish economy.

    This week, Agri Aware launched its new 'Many Hats, One CAP' TV and cinema advert.

    Produced by Traction Marketing, the advert is part of a wider campaign which aims to promote and showcase how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) affects everyday life in Ireland, whether that is subsidies paid to a farmer directly or the countless indirect knock-ons that keep rural Ireland alive.

    The launch took place at Movies Dundrum, Dublin, on Thursday evening, where both the full and short versions of the advert where premiered for the first time on screen.

    Rural landscape

    The ad itself follows a day in the life of a number of characters who make up the rural landscape in Ireland.

    From clips of rural entrepreneur and chef Edward Hayden cooking up a storm in his Graiguenamanagh cookery school, to farmer Kevin Moran up before dawn in Galway to milk his dairy herd, it gives viewers a glimpse into the role the agri-food industry plays.

    Agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive

    At the premiere, there was a panel of guest speakers which included Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe and three of the stars in the ad; Hayden, Moran and Teagasc researcher Dr Dayle Johnston.

    Hosted by Marty Morrissey, the panel reiterated the point that agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive, and the CAP is central to that.

    Alan Jagoe spoke of the huge work, time and spend going behind the campaign.

    “It costs money to put it out there, but consumers and society need to know where their money is going and who they are supporting.

    "There needs to be an understanding and respect for the production costs and efforts that go into food production,” he stressed.

    2016 FBD young farmer of the year Kevin Moran made the point that CAP itself “is not just one thing – a subsidy for a farmer - it is much more than that; it’s an investment in food security, an investment in rural economies and this investment is invaluable to rural Ireland”.

    'Many Hats, One CAP' is a 12-month public information campaign that will go live across TV, radio, cinema, social media and print over the coming weeks.

    Read more

    Agri Aware, the CAP and Micheál

    'Farmers must tell their story' – new Agri Aware chair