ICMSA: Farmers ‘disappointed and irritated’ by Hackett’s comments

The President of ICMSA has said that farmers will be “disappointed and irritated” by the sentiments expressed by Minister of State, Pippa Hackett, following the 13th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture.

Pat McCormack said it was regrettable that her release on the GFFA seemed to omit completely any mention of farmer income or the relentless downward pressure on their margins that is compounding the equally relentless rise of their costs.

“Not for the first time, senior politicians seem unable or unwilling to explain to everyone – not just the farmers – the kind of fundamental changes and challenges arising from the transition to lower emissions.

“We obviously hear the views of Minister of State Hackett but we seem to be waiting a very long time for any senior politician to say out loud and to the public what everyone had better realise about that transition to low emissions farming and primary food-production. That transition is going to make food more expensive; prices paid by consumers need to rise and we will see the end of the ‘Cheap Food’ policy that has dictated farming and food in Europe for decades. That is just an inevitable consequence of the lowering of volumes,” Mr. McCormack said.

Mr. McCormack added: “Someone is going to have to break the news to the corporate retailers and their customers that the scale and nature of this transition is so enormous and profound that everyone is going to have to accept changes in the way we’ve been looking at the price of food. Thanks to the dominance of the supermarkets, people have become used to underpaying for their food. That’s going to end as food prices begin to reflect the economic and environmental cost of production”.