“Farmer-bashing” needs to stop, according to Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) deputy presidential candidate Brian Rushe, who has issued a riposte to what he called “mistruths and factual inaccuracies” in the media in recent days.

“Farmers are under enough pressure getting through the day without mistruths, one-sided agendas and incorrect facts being thrown at them by biased commentators,” the current Kildare / west Wicklow IFA county chairman said.

Rushe was speaking following the broadcast of the television programme “What Planet Are You On”, on RTÉ One on Wednesday evening, November 13.

On the episode, Rushe said a “so-called food expert condoned the importation and use of avocados from Mexico over the use of some locally produced and sustainable Irish food”.

Reacting to this, he highlighted the quick turn-around in treatment and image of farmers by others, noting: “Just a few, short years ago, farmers were the ones dragging this country through an economic downturn.”

He added that politicians around the country recognised this and lauded farmers for playing their part in “driving an upturn in the fortunes of the country”.

“However, we are now treated like the dirt on the shoe of the same politicians. When glaring mistruths and factual inaccuracies are being peddled in the media questioning how safe, traceable and sustainable our food is, we have no one backing us.

“Farmers are feeling alone and isolated as so many people with agendas are ganging up on us.

The facts are simple. We are doing more than any other sector in Ireland to drive positive environmental change.

“We are the custodians of the environment and we are ensuring that the critical climate targets we need to hit will be met.

“We are providing a public good. This must be recognised and rewarded. The seemingly coordinated and sinister farmer-bashing campaign must end – we’re being thrown to the wolves,” Brian said.