A number of ministers have been called on by a senator to appear in the Seanad to answer questions on food security and access to sustainable food.

Senator Erin McGreehan, a member of Fianna F√°il, has called for a debate in the upper house of the Oireachtas on these issues.

She signaled out Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue; Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan; and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney.

“We need to put in place concrete plans and supports to enable farmers to continue producing food while receiving fair returns for their efforts.

“It’s important we consider the long-term implications of agricultural policies and strike a balance between sustainable farming practices and providing a sustainable income for farmers,” McGreehan said.

“I’m eager to explore how [the departments of the three ministers] view each of their roles in ensuring food security,” she added.

According to McGreehan, these ministers’ departments “have interlinked roles in terms of supporting farmers with a fair price for their produce, regulating the food production market, and striking a balance between environmental policies and farming”.

“A thorough evaluation of land productivity and the effects of the EU Nature Restoration Law [is needed], specifically in relation to the potential impact on sustainable food availability.”

The Co. Louth-based senator was speaking in the Seanad, where she expressed concern over the current trend among retailers of reducing food costs without considering the implications for those in the agricultural sector.

“Farmers, as price takers, lack the power to influence the prices they receive, leaving many operating at a loss. Achieving food security and access to sustainable food is a pressing issue that demands immediate attention,” she said.

“Climate change, environmental degradation, and unequal distribution of resources and power are major obstacles on this path.”

“However, I believe that by working together, society can overcome these challenges and develop solutions that ensure everyone has access to safe, nutritious and sustainable food,” McGreehan added.