Farm organisations met with Government this week to "drive home key farming messages" with the EU Nature Restoration Law and Brexit fund topping the agenda.
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Speaking after the Irish Farmers' Association delegation met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Wednesday to discuss farming issues, deputy president Brian Rushe said he acknowledged Mr Varadkar's comments relaying his concerns about the proposed restoration law.
"However, we were clear that the Government must oppose the proposal and ensure a full impact assessment is done before any law is put in place," Mr Rushe said.
Mr Rushe said the IFA also raised the Brexit Adjustment Reserve fund "and queried why this cannot be used to assist vulnerable sectors such as beef, sheep, tillage and horticulture, which have clearly been hit by the consequences of Brexit".
"It will be a major own goal if this funding is not spent before the deadline of December 31, 2023," he said.
The IFA told the Taoiseach that the Department of Agriculture’s plan to delay certain farm payments by up to a month in 2023 "would be totally unacceptable".
The "need to retain" the nitrates derogation at 250kg; problems with the Residential Zoned Land Tax; climate-related matters; and the need for a proper succession scheme in farming were also discussed at the meeting.
Speaking following the meeting with the Taoiseach and Department of Agriculture ministers, the president of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association Dermot Kelleher said that he remains concerned that the powers of the new Agri-Food Regulator are "too weak in their current format".
"If the ambition is to drive fair play for farmers in the food chain, then the legislation must be robust enough to deliver that. We think the draft regulation is too weak," Mr Kelleher said.
"Toothpaste manufacturers don’t have to deal with huge escalation in feed, fertiliser, and fuel costs. Beef and lamb cannot be sold at below the cost of production."
The ICSA also reiterated its calls for a support package for the sheep sector.
"The €12 per ewe in the CAP is not fit for purpose - sheep prices earlier this year and last autumn were worse than previous years despite costs going through the roof," Mr Kelleher continued.
"We suggested that the Brexit Adjustment Reserve could be used. We cannot understand how the reserve can be used for genomic sampling, mainly for dairy farmers, but it can’t be used for the sheep sector - that makes no sense to a sheep farmer."
Mr Kelleher added that he wants to see Budget 2024 deliver a suckler scheme "that would be open to all, with no quota restrictions, no limits on the number of cows, and no five-year contracts".
At the meeting, the Taoiseach gave a commitment to review Macra’s proposed farm succession scheme, which members are hopeful will be included in the upcoming budget.
Macra has long proposed an on-farm succession scheme that supports the older generation of farmers to step back while also supporting the younger generation to become active farmers.
Macra national president Elaine Houlihan said that farm succession is "vitally important to secure a future for young farmers throughout Ireland".
Speaking this week, Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association deputy president Denis Drennan said that urgent issues and challenges are "queued out the door, down the road, and around the corner".
"We are genuinely not sure that the Government understands or appreciates the levels of downright panic that already exists and is growing daily due to their perceived indifference and poor communication of policy," Mr Drennan said.
"Rural areas that depend on farming are losing heart – and worse, are losing trust – in the Government’s commitment to our biggest indigenous economic engine and activity."