The rapid spread of COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge to public health. In this week's edition, Ministers Charlie McConalogue, Martin Heydon and Pippa Hackett appeal to the farming community to play their part in controlling the spread of the disease. IFA president Tim Cullinan has also called on members to take all necessary precautions.

Farmers and service providers have rightly been granted essential worker status – largely providing the flexibility required to ensure necessary activities can be carried out on farm and that the wider food processing sector continues to function. But with this comes the responsibility to ensure all measures and guidelines are fully are adhered to. There must be a zero-tolerance approach to those not adhering to guidelines and/or restrictions. These individuals are risking their own health, the health of others and expose the sector to even tighter restrictions.