Profitability and climate action ‘could be seen as compatible’

Profitability and environmental sustainability could be seen as compatible, according to new research released by Teagasc today (Tuesday, March 26).

Farmers making higher levels of profit are also farming in a way that would be considered more environmentally friendly, according to Trevor Donnellan, Teagasc economist, who was speaking at the release of a new Teagasc report.

The report, entitled ‘Teagasc National Farm Survey 2017 Sustainability Report’, tracks the performance of Irish farms in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability.

The report was launched this morning at the Teagasc Conference Centre in Ashtown, Co. Dublin.

Continuing, Donnellan explained that these more profitable farms tend to “have a lower emissions intensity” in that they are producing less emissions per unit of output on the farm.

It was stressed that this does not imply that the most profitable farms have the lowest total emissions.

The research shows that when the total farm emissions are divided by the amount of product they produce, “you arrive at a better emissions intensity value than the average or lower profitability farm”.

The report, produced by Teagasc economists, looks at agricultural sustainability at farm level across the economic, environmental, social and innovation dimensions.

The data used in the study is from the 2012-2017 period and was sourced from the Teagasc National Farm Survey.