IRELAND, Dublin. Tim Cullinan, president of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), criticized the EU's strict emphasis on environmental measures that could have devastating consequences on the global food supply.
At the associations' 67th Annual General Meeting (AGM), IFA's president Tim Cullinan warned by strictly focusing on environmental measures the EU could cause a "global food emergency." Cullinan fears that too many policy decisions are being taken without a proper analysis of the consequences.
"Not every country can produce its own food," the IFA president stressed and pointed out how fortunate Ireland was to be "an ideal location" for food production. However, regarding the measures to meet the climate target on a European and national level, Cullinan claims "the EU and our Government want us to produce less," which he calls "short-sighted" given current estimates for the global population growth from around 7.5 bill. to 10 bill. by 2030.
An expanding population is also believed to increase the demand for meat and dairy products, therefore raising the question of how to ensure sufficient supplies. "Who will supply this food? There is a real risk that we will create a global food emergency trying to solve the climate emergency," the IFA president warns. Furthermore, in Europe but also worldwide, input prices such as fertilizer and other inputs were currently skyrocketing, inevitably resulting in "less food output."
Cullinan said farmers would not shirk their responsibilities on climate action, but he warned against imposing solutions without consultation. "Ignoring the economic contribution of farming to the rural economy would be a monumental own goal. Since 1990, our output has increased by 40% and our emissions have remained largely unchanged," he added and called for balancing environmental, economic and social sustainability issues. "The emphasis," he stresses, "must be on reducing emissions, not reducing output."
Source: AgE | IFA