THE Tánaiste must stop scaremongering and support farmers through inevitable changes in the sector.
That’s according to Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns (pictured) who said: ‘It has taken a global pandemic for many to realise how important our food producers are, and it has exposed how vulnerable the Irish agri-food sector is. We need better measures in place for future potential crises like the climate and biodiversity one or Brexit, but this has not and is not being taken seriously by government.
‘Tánaiste Simon Coveney’s recent comments that reducing emissions could “decimate” Irish farms adds to a false narrative that change in the sector will negatively reshape Irish agriculture and undermine farmers’ livelihoods. This result is resistance to climate action from the very communities that will be most severely affected.’
Deputy Cairns said that refusing to make meaningful changes in the agri-food sector gives little or zero consideration to the next generation, including the next generation of farmers. She has called on both the Minister for Agriculture, sector leaders and organisations, to work on measures to reduce carbon emissions, in a just transition supports farmers.
‘It is time to change the way we talk about farming. Instead of viewing farmers as the problem, we need to realise that they are the solution. We need the Department to actively encourage better ways of farming. We need payments and CAP reform that supports family farms and the sector in a sustainable way. We need real leadership before it is too late,’ she said.