The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has today, Tuesday, October 15, launched a new plan titled: ‘Diversity Strategy Towards 2025.’

Speaking at the launch of the document, the IFA’s president, Joe Healy, said: “The strategy aims to build a platform for change, creating momentum and challenging the status quo to support a more diverse and inclusive organisation.”

The document was launched today in line with the UN’s International Rural Women’s Day.

The international day recognises the crucial role that women play in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall well-being.

Continuing, Healy said: “While there has been significant improvement in the level of female representation in the association in recent years, this strategy will ensure that we continue to grow and improve so that leadership better reflects our diverse membership.”

The IFA president added: “Diversity, unifying and attracting farmers from all sectors, with different perspectives, has been the key to the success of the association.

“That has never been so important if we are to come up with the innovative solutions to improve profitability and the livelihoods of farmers.”

Some of the key recommendations in the report are:
  • To develop a talent bank of women who are interested in holding positions. These women will be offered mentoring and training under the Future Leaders programme;
  • To limit the term an officer can sit on National Council as County Chair or National Committee Chair to 12 years, after which time they are required to move forward to a higher position;
  • To introduce a target of an 80:20 gender split on all National Committees within the lifetime of the strategy;
  • To introduce a target that at least 20% of candidates for election are women;
  • To increase awareness of the strong role women already play within the association and promote the opportunities available to women.

“The recommendations set out a clear statement of IFA’s commitment to improve diversity and create a culture of inclusion.

It is only through our individual and collective actions that we can build an organisation that will deliver the best results for farmers.

Concluding, Healy outlined: “This strategy is the start of IFA’s journey to empower and encourage more women and younger farmers to get involved, to add their voice to the association and shape the future of farming in Ireland.”