Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue will address a farming and climate summit held by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) next week, the organisation announced today (Wednesday, January 4).

The summit will focus on how the agriculture sector will address the climate challenge as it faces unprecedented policy challenges beyond emissions, IFA president, Tim Cullinan said.

The IFA Farming and Climate Summit will take place in Thomond Park, Co. Limerick next Tuesday, January 10, from 11a.m to 4:00p.m.

Minister McConalogue will give the keynote address, and the event will also hear from Teagasc director, Prof. Frank O’Mara; economist, Ciaran Fitzgerald; and the head of the animal and grassland research and innovation at Teagasc, Laurence Shalloo.

Further speakers include climatologist at Maynooth University, Prof. Peter Thorne; head of department of food business and development at Cork University Business School, Thia Hennessy; and representatives from Bord Bia.

“While we now have a Climate Action Plan set out by government, there are huge details to be worked out including what funding the government intends to provide to help farmers adopt new measures.

“I want to make it very clear that IFA recognises the climate challenge and that our members are keen to play their part. However, it cannot be at the expense of their livelihoods,” Cullinan said.

Climate challenges

The purpose of the summit is to bring farmers together with policy makers to fully understand what is facing the sector in the context of its value to the economy and in terms of food production, the IFA said.

EU policies including the proposed Nature Restoration Law, the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD), and the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) pose a challenge to the sector, he said.

The IFA president added that much greater engagement is needed with farmers to ensure they can farm sustainably, while still developing the sector and enhancing the social infrastructure in rural Ireland.

Anyone interested in attending the summit is asked to complete the registration form on the IFA website in order to secure a place at the event.