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Thursday 16 August 2018

Grain growers calls for auditing system to track all grain traded in Ireland

Ireland imports approximately 60-70pc of the grain it needs to feed livestock. Photo: Roger Jones
Ireland imports approximately 60-70pc of the grain it needs to feed livestock. Photo: Roger Jones

Irish Grain Growers has called for an auditing system to be introduced to track all grain traded in Ireland.

It says that growers are already signed up to the Irish Grain Assurance Scheme (IGAS), are fully traceable, and cross compliant but the wider grain trade needs to do likewise and ensure that grain sold is distinguished between imported and Irish.

An auditing system that would clearly account for and distinguish between Irish and imported grain is essential for those in the food, brewing and distilling industry for whom full traceability is paramount, it says.

"Guinness insists a contract be in place with growers to ensure a supply of Irish grain," a spokesperson for the group said and warned that Ireland is increasingly leaving itself exposed to damage to the image created by the agricultural industry, which it says has created premium markets both here and abroad.

"Bord Bia and Origin Green must not stick their heads in the sand when it comes to the traceability of fodder and feed fed to Irish livestock and indeed the grain that the brewing and distilling industry heavily depend on for marketing of their brands."

Ireland imports approximately 60-70pc of the grain it needs to feed our livestock of which a large proportion is Genetically Modified, it says.

"These grains in many instances have travelled long distances and reflects poorly on the Origin Green ethos to reduce our carbon footprint.Grain is imported from countries that we are strongly opposing to trade beef with in the EU because of the lower standards applied in these countries yet  we import grain from these sources with questionable beef standards."

It says that a bonus scheme,  similar to the Glanbia Gluten Free Oats model, should be established to inject new confidence into the tillage sector and perhaps see a u turn in the acerage devoted to tillage.

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According to the Grain Growers Association, the latest statistics show a 14pc reduction in tillage land in the past five years and only about one third of land is devoted to tillage compared to 70 years ago.


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