Suckler herd reduction scheme a non-runner for Macra
The Interim Food Vision Beef and Sheep Group report that has been sent to the Minister contains within it a measure that proposes to reduce the suckler herd in Ireland. Measure 8 entitled 'Voluntary Diversification Scheme’ seeks to cease farmers from having breeding ruminants on their holding for a contracted period of time.
“Macra has engaged extensively with both Food Vision Groups, the Minister himself referred to our extensive submissions that we have made to both groups at our National Conference at the weekend” said Macra President, John Keane.
Macra’s contributions across both Food Vision Groups have been consistent, we have continually stated that what is needed is a succession scheme that supports the older generation to step back and allow the younger generation to step forward. Reducing the suckler herd will do nothing to support farmers and the future of rural communities. With more than 80,000 farm families involved in beef production it is support for investment and a fair return for their produce is what is needed, not restricting land use. By removing suckler cows from production it will only lead to less opportunity and less support for rural communities. The suckler cow plays a crucial role in supporting local business in rural areas, from the local mart to the local co-operative all of these are reliant on all farming sectors to be sustained.
“The report submitted to the Minister is a progress report, Macra will continue to advocate for succession pathways and the creation of opportunity not the reduction in suckler cows,” concluded Mr Keane.
Date of Press Release: Wednesday 2nd November 2022