A lot of attention has focused on the potential negative impacts on our industry of the EU's Farm to Fork strategy.
But perhaps that's missing the point of the document.
It is surprisingly clear to comprehend and easy to access online. I would advise anyone involved in agriculture to download it and read it.
Chapter 2 (pages 8-16) is the meat and potatoes of the document - eight pages that outline where your income is coming from over the next 20 years.
Why should we be so focused on what the EU say?
Well for one thing, the EU is in control of the Common Agricultural Policy, the main vehicle of keeping agriculture in business.
Also, MEPs are elected by the consumers of our produce. The MEPs represent our customers and reflect what our customers feel.
Section 2.1, 'Ensuring sustainable food production', is where attention has focused.
This outlines a reduction in chemical fertiliser and pesticide usage.
If the system was operating as it should, there should be no issue with this. We can halve, quarter, even eliminate altogether all inputs into crop production if our customers demand it.
With one proviso: if they demand it, they pay for it.
This is not always the case. Take the loss of old pesticide chemistry. Our customers, working through the EU, wish to eliminate old, cheaper but effective chemistry due to concerns under a raft of headings, including environment and bystander toxicity.
That's fine. We as producers now have to use more expensive new chemistry with better profiles to do the same job. Our costs go up, so the costs to the consumer who demands the change should also go up.
Look at the way the tractor market has gone: new regulations impose extra costs, so the price of tractors goes up.
Unfortunately, the price we receive for our grain is not determined within the EU, it's determined primarily by the output of the North American and South American maize grain market.
So in effect, costs go up, output stagnates or reduces, but the price we receive stays the same. The producer is paying for the demands, not the consumer. That is what has happened in the industry over the last 20 years.
Consumers have been in a Goldilocks position of demanding ever more from their food, but never having to pay any more for it. It's not quite as simple as that, but that's the general idea.
Where the document gets interesting is in Section 2.2. 'Ensuring food security'. There is a helpful infograph, showing a head of grain transforming into a loaf of bread. Now we're on to something. Ireland, for all the guff about food production and the food island, does not produce any grain for loaves of bread, a basic staple food.
All flour used in Ireland is imported into this country as flour, with the exception of a small amount of wheat imported to be milled for retail pack flour. What is really interesting is that we import this flour (230,000 tonnes) from the UK, a country not even in the EU.
The Farm to Fork document has placed food security as the second most important issue to be addressed in food production.
Things get really interesting in section 2.3. In effect it's a direct hit at the dominance of food processors, food service operators and food retailers.
It is asking nicely (using a big stick) for the food industry to address healthy eating, environmental footprint and energy consumption of the food chain.
The food supply chain in the EU is operated the same way as the toilet roll supply chain: cheaper cost trumps everything.
That is why we get staples such as cabbage and onions grown in far-flung places using scarce water reserves, trucking them across continents to be sold cheaper than locally produced produce.
Labour costs are the biggest production cost of vegetables. The place where the labour costs are the cheapest, for whatever reason, gets the order.
But if the supply chain has to account for the full cost of these supply lines - the environmental costs, the energy costs - the balance may well be helped shift towards more local supply chains.
The Farm to Fork strategy is a discussion document that has yet run the gauntlet of many hours of negotiations, of clarifications, of costings and 'realpolitik'.
It has a long way to go before it comes to fruition and will be changed many times before we see it implemented.
However, if the hard bits of the document (2.2 and 2.3) survive as well as the easy bits of arbitrary cuts to pesticides/ fertiliser and handouts for token environmental schemes, it is a document that should be used as a springboard to a more sustainable food production system across the EU.
It should be embraced, promoted and used as a blueprint for the entire agricultural industry in Ireland.
Richard Hackett is an agronomist based in north Co Dublin and is a member of the ITCA and ACA