IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney has described the voluntary nitrates derogation review being undertaken by the Government as an important opportunity to build on the sustainable development of the agri-food sector.
“Teagasc’s recently published sustainability report highlights the environmentally efficient development of the sector, with better fertiliser and grassland management leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions per kilo of product across all enterprises. While water quality challenges remain, the improvement in farm management practices is helping to keep Ireland’s overall water quality in the top tier in Europe.
“This interim review of the Nitrates Derogation must ensure that farmers who farm in derogation are supported to deliver Government’s ambitions of Food Wise 2025. It must also ensure that farmers are not saddled with excessive regulations and compliance requirements.
“Farmers have and continue to invest in the environmental improvement of their farms, whether that’s increased storage, management of run-off or farmyard management. This investment has not delivered a return from the marketplace and this issue should be addressed as part of this derogation review,” he said.