Speaking following his address to the Dáil Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine on climate change issues relating to agriculture, the President of ICMSA said that Irish agriculture has a very positive story to tell in relation to its climate change record and the sector deserves recognition and support instead of illogical rules that will quickly undermine it.
Pat McCormack said that in terms of producing milk in a manner in an environmentally sensitive way that takes account of climate change Ireland is the EU leader and he added that new measures will solidify that position. He noted that in beef production terms we are fifth best in the EU and again we could expect to improve that position. But he said that these facts always ignored the other half of the equation which is that the global population is predicted to grow by 50% by 2050 with a resulting increase in the global demand for food and that “cannot be ignored”.
“Irish farmers can produce dairy and beef products extremely efficiently from a climate change perspective and it makes perfect sense that they should be encouraged to do that and not be undermined by illogical proposals like the suggestions from the Citizens Assembly. Irish farmers can – and will – make further improvements and our climate change footprint in terms of kg of dairy and beef will improve even further. If the global community is serious about addressing climate change then policy must support climate efficient farmers and must be structured to do so”, he told the Dáil Committee.
In terms of renewables, the ICMSA President said there is a massive opportunity to not only address climate change but also to boost economic activity in rural areas in a sustainable way by promoting family farm-based and community projects rather than large scale industrial projects. He said that it’s crucial that measures are brought forward to ensure family farms and communities can play a leading role in renewables as they have the ability and willingness to do so if Government policy supports them.
Ends 14 February 2018.
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office