Reality check: The proposed Programme for Government includes setting up an Ombudsman for Food to ensure fairness and equity in the food chain. "In the real world, people don't want to pay a fair price for quality food. They don't value food and they take it completely for granted," says Helen Harris.
When I chat to other farmers, especially tillage farmers, about the Green Party there is usually a deep sigh before they roll their eyes to heaven. The Greens may not be the most popular with us farmers, but I do agree we need to make changes for the benefit of the planet and future generations. So, when I started to read some of the policy proposals for the next government, I thought it would be 40 shades of green, but what I read was more like 50 shades of grey. The colour, not the book. That's how bland and boring I found the Programme for Government.
The buzzword, if you will excuse the pun, is biodiversity. It was mentioned over and over again, but when I looked for actual plans everything seemed very wishy-washy - there are lots of big ideas but little substance.
Before I started reading, I was breaking out in a cold sweat thinking of all the changes they would want for us tillage farmers.
In my dream world, I believe that the Greens would like us all to have our own little patch, grow organic food and run through the meadows in our hemp dresses.
In the real world, people don't want to pay a fair price for quality food. They don't value food and they take it completely for granted.
Even at the worst of this pandemic, there has a sufficient supply of good quality, cheap food to ensure that no-one need go hungry in the western world.
One of the suggestions in the proposed Programme for Government is a new authority called the National Food Ombudsman. It will ensure "fairness, equity and transparency" in the food chain.
Now that did make me laugh. Am I to believe that Irish whiskey bottles are going to include French maize on the list of ingredients? Or that meat products will be labelled with the important information that the animal was partly reared on GM soya beans? Not a chance.
And as for fairness and equity, look at the prices farmers are getting for their produce and look at the price at the tills.
There is nothing fair about years and decades of low farm prices. What is this new authority going to do? Perhaps they will get all the big supermarkets to sit down and tell them not to make as much profit and give a little back to the farmers. Again, I say, not a chance.
I was in a well-known super-market recently and saw two steaks for sale at €5. I could not believe my eyes. Then farmers wonder why they can't make money from beef.
If the Green Party want to protect the environment, they need to protect the small family farms. If the smaller farmer can't survive, farms will bigger and more intensive, and the future will consist of big corporations managing land. I don't call that farming.
Going back to the proposed Programme for Government. I read that they are suggesting that every farm in the country gets a biodiversity survey.
Who is going to do it? At what cost? Who is going to pay for it and why are they doing it?
Information is only useful if you do something with it.
We are part of a group of 40 trial farms in Co Kildare, where they are counting our pollinators now and then coming back later to count them again. It took two people half a day to catch, count and record what they saw.
So how are we going to do a full biodiversity survey on every farm in Ireland. Will the farmers be expected to do it? That would make for interesting reading, but it may not be entirely accurate.
As someone who believes in climate change, who wants agriculture to survive and prosper in Ireland, I am disappointed.
I am disappointed in all the political parties, not just the Green Party.
We have a chance on this small island to be world leaders in farming. Much of our agriculture is traceable, sustainable and of an extremely high quality. All I am asking is that our Government recognises this and that farmers get a fair return for their work.
Philip and Helen Harris are tillage farmers in Co Kildare. Follow them on twitter at P&HHarris@kildarefarmer