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Friday 19 April 2019

Varadkar calls for 'many more' green measures in CAP reform

Leo Varadkar. Photo: PA
Leo Varadkar. Photo: PA
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has called for "many more" green measures when it is reformed.

Speaking on RTE radio today the Taoiseach said there is a real challenge for the agricultural sector to increase food production and meeting climate change targets.

"Agriculture is a huge contributor to our carbon emissions however we need to produce food." He said it's trickery in agriculture than other sectors to reduce emissions, but that afforestation is a big part of it.

"Even farmers deciding to plant two out of 20 acres or one out of 80 acres can make a big difference."

He said there must be "many more" green measures and green incentives in the upcoming CAP reform. "There is a lot that can be done around fertilisers and the use or nitrogen in particular."

He also said that when it comes to beef, projects such as the BDGP and BEEP have ensured that our beef production is probably the most carbon efficient in the world.

"If we are going to produce and consume it wouldn't it make sense that we have the product that we can say to people around the world is the most sustainably and ethically produced."

"A lot of farmers realise they need to be on the right side of history on this (climate change).

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Consumers are changing, he said, and they want to know their food is produced sustainably and Ireland should see this as an opportunity, that Ireland produces food to the highest animal welfare and ethical standards.

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