These are the strong messages coming from farms right across the country which he visited over the last six months. said new IFA President Eddie Downey. The remarks were made following his inauguration on Tuesday.
He said it was also crucial for farm families that Irish agriculture not be sacrificed in EU trade deals that turn a blind eye to imports not meeting European standards.
And farmers must hold what we have and push for new measures that address farm investment, land mobility, income volatility and succession, in the upcoming review of tax treatments for agriculture:
“This is the clear mandate that I have received in the IFA elections and this is the strong message that I am sending to Government, processors and retailers today,” said the Co Meath farmer who is the IFA’s 14th President, after securing 1,079 votes, compared to 779 votes for rival Jer Bergin from Laois, in the national election in December.
Mr Downey, who served as deputy president for the past four years, paid tribute to his election rival and he acknowledged predecessor John Bryan’s work over the past four years, saying he showed strong leadership and worked tirelessly to deliver the best for Irish farmers.
He also acknowledged the work of other outgoing national officers, national committee chairmen, and county chairmen who finished their terms this week.
He said incoming Deputy President Tim O’Leary will have specific responsibilities for direct payments, IFA’s protocol project team, Teagasc, discussion groups, and as spokesman for IFA Countryside.