Farmers must see the increased value of Irish agri-food exports reflected in the prices they receive in the marketplace, the IFA president Tim Cullinan has stated.

According to Cullinan, the record food export value released by Bord Bia has reflected the regard with which consumers overseas hold Irish agri-food goods.

“Despite all the challenges, our exports grew by 4% to a record €13.5bn. This demonstrates the standing and reputation of our food, based on the raw materials produced by Irish farmers,” Cullinan said.

“With a massive increase in input costs – feed, energy and fertiliser – it’s critical that the price received by farmers increases across all sectors to help offset the extraordinary hike in the costs of production,” he explained.

Cullinan went on to call for the extra value created from farmers’ produce to be handed down the agri-food supply chain to the farmer.

“It’s vital that the additional value generated by our food exports is delivered, in full, back to the farmer producing the raw material,” he said.

Balancing priorities

Cullinan also took the opportunity to reiterate the IFA’s position that increasing environmental sustainability cannot come to the detriment of farmers.

“We all acknowledge the need to continue to build on our environmental credentials, but we cannot do this at the expense of the economic sustainability of our primary producers,” he said.

The current policy direction from the Irish Government is not striking the right balance

According to the IFA president, the government have not followed the path outlined in the Food Vision 2030 strategy for developing the agri-food industry.

“The current policy direction from the Irish Government is not striking the right balance between environmental, economic and social sustainability as set out in Food Vision 2030.

“The world will need more food and we are fortunate to have the climate and the expertise, built up on Irish farms over generations, to produce top-quality food. We should be proud of this and work to support it, not undermine it,” he added.