It’s been a week of significant change within our Government, with notable outgoings and incomings. The departure of both Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar from cabinet is the end of an era in itself.

While Leo’s links with farming weren’t close or obvious, his caretaker government did make farming and agri-food a critical sector during the first COVID-19 lockdown.

However, he also led Fine Gael into a three-way coalition with Fianna Fáil and the Green party that has set agriculture a challenging sectoral emissions reduction target, much different to what he told us in an interview six years ago, when he said other sectors should shoulder the bulk of emissions reductions.

Simon Coveney has been a much more familiar face within farming, serving as agriculture minister from 2011-2016. His signal achievement was, as chair of the EU agriculture ministerial council, the brokering of a CAP deal which was a significant compromise for Ireland from the Ciolos proposals from the EU Commission.

We also wish Simon Harris well, as he becomes Taoiseach at a critical juncture for Irish agriculture, the wider economy, and society. Delivery on early positive soundings will be welcomed.

It’s also appropriate to acknowledge former agriculture minister Michael Creed, who will be leaving Dáil Eireann.