Grain growers call for tillage recognition in agri-industry ‘success stories’

The Irish Grain Growers Group (IGGG) is calling for the tillage sector to be recognised as part of the “success stories of our Irish agriculture industry”.

Bobby Miller, the group’s chairperson, highlighted that Irish livestock is both grass-fed and meal-fed, and argued that “our agriculture industry must reflect this in its marketing campaigns by the likes of Bord Bia, where the emphasis has been on grass fed with little mention of meal”.

Miller was partially responding to a comment from Supermac’s founder and owner, Pat McDonagh, who mentioned, in the course of an interview with AgriLand, that Irish beef cattle were not fed genetically modified (GM) feed.

In a statement, Miller pointed out that Irish beef is fed imported GM feed, while acknowledging that McDonagh was not attempting to “misinform anyone intentionally”.

In his statement, Miller suggested that McDonagh insists on “100% native Irish grain” to be fed to livestock, pigs and poultry for products used in his establishments.

This grain, Miller highlighted, is “the only feed with Irish provenance; it’s fully traceable, GM-free and grown to strict EU husbandry standards – and the grain has low GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions to boot”.

“Our Irish tillage farmers deserve to be part of the success stories of our Irish agriculture industry,” Miller added, claiming: “Some day in the near future Irish grain will be sought after as part of securing premium markets.”

The IGGG chairperson concluded: “Irish tillage farmers would love to be an integral part of the success story that is Supermac’s.”