28 NOVEMBER 2019
ICSA president Edmond Phelan has said, “No agri-food strategy is sustainable if it is based on primary producers losing money.” Mr Phelan was speaking following the first meeting of Stakeholder Committee responsible for the development of Ireland’s Agri-Food Strategy to 2030, held in Dublin today.
“Food Wise 2025 focused on expansion, but this has done nothing to increase incomes in the beef and sheep sectors. It is clear now that we must make a shift from prioritising growth to prioritising farm incomes as we devise this strategy to 2030.”
Mr Phelan also stressed that farmers must not be scapegoated when it comes to dealing with climate change. “As a result of much inaccurate information and dubious ideologies, farmers have unfairly been the target of biased commentary. It’s time for the real culprits in the energy, industry and transport sectors to be challenged.”
Concluding Mr Phelan said, “It is vital that our agri-food strategy to 2030 is a measured one, and one that takes into consideration all the pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. To this end, processors and retailers must also be on board. Processors cannot expect to buy cattle for below the cost of production and retailers should not be selling at below the cost of production.”