The Food Vision Beef and Sheep Group was not a failure, according to the Agriculture Secretary, and he says he will not include or rule out any of its recommendations just yet.
The comments come after farmer groups distanced themselves from the group’s final report, released last week, which contained a host of widely publicized measures, including a controversial program that would pay farmers to phase out livestock or reduce cow numbers .
Minister Charlie McConalogue, speaking at the Fianna Fáil national farm policy conference in Tyrrellspass, Westmeath on Saturday, said it was disappointing that the INHFA withdrew from the process days before the report was released.
“Whether you agree or disagree with all of the final actions and proposals, I think it’s important to stay there. And I don’t think that helped. And there I was a bit surprised. But through these two groups (Dairy and Beef) it was really important to bring people together and explore the different options.”
The minister also said he would not accept or reject any of the recommendations until he had reviewed the report he received in recent days.
“The task for me now is to actually look at the different options that are out there and make sure we can move forward and turn them into a climate action plan,” the minister said.
“I have not ruled out or ruled anything out at this point. I want to read the report and think about it and then take it further.”
The IFA and ICMSA distanced themselves from the final report, while Meat Industry Ireland (MII), which represents meat processors, said their members could not support the report as it stood.
The inclusion of measures aimed at incentivising a reduction in the suckler herd would undermine the economic contribution and viability of the beef sector. MII estimates that the proposed cut, combined with the naturally occurring long-term decline, will severely undermine the industry and take almost €1.5 billion out of the Irish economy.
A climate action plan for the agricultural sector, outlining how the sector can reduce its emissions by 25 percent by 2030, as set out in the government’s climate action plan, is due before the end of the year.
The Dairy Vision Group and the Beef and Sheep Vision Group were formed earlier this year to explore ways the sector can achieve these goals.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/farming-news/beef-vision-group-is-not-a-failure-says-minister-42197164.html Beef Vision Group is not a failure, says Minister