Climate change policies must not reduce food supply in Europe

Climate change policies must not lead to a reduction in food supply in Europe, and a change of mindset around these policies is now needed, says the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) , Tim Cullinan.

Speaking on tonight’s episode of farmland (Tuesday, March 15), he said the outbreak of war in Ukraine has caused more people to associate food consumption with food production, with the security of our food supply chain being called into question.

But it is crucial that this consumption-production link remains in people’s minds.

He explained:

“Food has been devalued. Consumers today spend around 10% of their income on food. Go back 20 years ago and it was 30%. We need to look at the policies that are proposed on this. »

The link between food production and supply in relation to climate change has been established, but the policies created around it don’t always make sense, Cullinan added.

“We had the Green Deal, farm to fork and biodiversity strategies. All policies in this area aim to reduce food production. It’s about reduction, reduction, reduction and clearly we need to reassess this policy now,” he said.

Cullinan warned that as the world’s population grows, so will the demand for food.

This food can come either from Ireland and the rest of Europe, where high-quality food is produced efficiently in a climate conducive to such production, or from less climate-efficient countries around the world, he said. he declares.

“Why would we now opt for policies aimed at having less food production when we are definitely going to need more? The world population is increasing.

“If we don’t produce it in Europe, because we are all aware of climate change and the role we have to play in it, it is very clear that it will be produced in a much less climate-efficient country,” said said the IFA president.

If that were the case, according to Cullinan, although the EU could meet its targets as set out in the climate action plan, the overall impacts of climate change might not be effectively mitigated.

The IFA President said he appreciated that the EU must play its part in reducing emissions, and he highlighted the work already done by farmers to achieve these goals.

“Farmers have already done a lot to fight climate change, but what is important is that we were looking to reduce emissions, not animals. And we do [reducing emissions].

“There’s some great research going on – already high-yielding animals have been proven to produce less methane and we also have further feed additive trials.

“We’re going to break it but we need time around it,” he said.

Mary I. Bruner