‘Food Wise 2020 needs complete review or farmers will be bankrupt’
A complete review of Food Wise 2025 is needed according to the President of the ICSA, or it “could potentially bankrupt farmers if we believe that expansion of production will make us better off.”
Speaking at the Association’s agm, he warned that expanding production is a highly risky strategy in the midst of Brexit uncertainty, dismal farm incomes and the threat of looming trade deals.
Mr Kent said in light of Brexit uncertainty and the threat of further EU trade deals following CETA farmers are simply producing too much beef.
“Basic economics tells us what happens when supply is too high for demand.”
He stressed the importance of continued tariff free trade between the UK and Ireland due to our unique ties in the agri-food sector and to the mutual benefits accruing.
He said this mutual link must be maintained in an effort to dissuade the UK from looking to South America and New Zealand for beef and sheepmeat imports which Ireland currently supplies and relies heavily on.
The president also outlined ICSA’s proposal to reduce numbers in the suckler cow herd. He said unlike others who proposed a now dismissed €200m scheme, ICSA proposes to reduce the number of suckler calves born by 20pc for one fifth of the cost, at €40m.