Survey results: Participant views on farm organisation membership

The ‘state of the nation’ survey – conducted with almost 3,000 farmer participants in recent weeks by AgriLand and Empathy Research – has revealed that almost 80% of farmer participants are members of one of the seven largest farmer representative groups.

2,921 respondents participated in this broad-ranging, open (online) survey, conducted through AgriLand.

The survey opened on Wednesday, September 11, and closed on Monday, September 16.

In the questionnaire, respondents were asked: “Which of the following farming associations, if any, are you a member of?”

Options given included the: Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA); Beef Plan Movement; Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA); Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA); Independent Farmers of Ireland; Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA); and Macra na Feirme, as well as the option “none of these”.

Outlined in the table below are the answers given in descending order of percentage.

In terms of participant responses, the farm organisation with the largest proportion of respondent members is the IFA; some 56% of respondents said they are members.

The farm group with the next largest proportion is the Beef Plan Movement with 29%.

Next up, 14% of participants said they are ICMSA members, while 7% asserted that they are among Macra’s membership.

4% of respondents said that they are part of the ICSA; with an equivalent percentage affirming that they are Independent Farmers of Ireland members.

Finally, 2% of participants said they are members of the INHFA, while 1% were members of another organisation.

23% of respondents selected “none of these”.

Which group is most closely aligned?

A follow-up question in the survey asked those that were members: “Which farming association are you most closely aligned to?”

Percentages were lower, but followed a similar pattern: 49% of respondents named the IFA as the organisation they were closest to, while 28% said Beef Plan.

6% of participants named the ICMSA as the organisation they are most closely aligned to; while 4% named Macra.

Meanwhile, 2% named the ICSA and the Independent Farmers of Ireland respectively, while 1% chose the INHFA.

5% selected “none of these”.