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Heydon: We need our farmers and producers to be ‘economically sustainable’

Economic sustainability for Irish farmers and producers is as important as environmental and social sustainability, according to the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Martin Heydon.

But speaking at an event to highlight solutions and innovations in the agri-food industry today (Friday, September 1) Minister Heydon warned that there are key challenges that must be met and trends to be reversed.

He also acknowledged that there are “a lot of challenges” for farmers and the agri-food industry to address at this time.

Minister Heydon said these not only included reducing the emission profile for agriculture and addressing water quality but also ensuring that there is a robust income for “the hundreds and thousands of people that make a living” from producing, safe, nutritious food in Ireland.

The minister also warned that some farmers, particularly those in beef and sheep farming, were not currently getting the income that they needed and he said if these farmers were “in the red” then they cannot meet the environment asks.

“It is a big challenge to make sure that the economic return is there, the next 10 years is all about safe, nutritious, trustworthy food that is ethically produced.

“We are in a really strong position to build on that but we have to make sure that we get that return back for our farmers, so that they are economically viable and are able to farm more environmentally friendly,” Minister Heydon added.

Teacher. Karina Pierce, UCD, Prof Orla Feely, UCD, Minister Martin Heydon, Hugh Martineau, Map of Ag and Padraig Hennessy CEO Terra NutriTECH at Lyons Farm

Today’s event at the University College Dublin (UCD) Lyons Farm in Co. Kildare examined the challenges facing the agri-food sector, producers and farmers and also explored potential solutions and innovations.

A number of academic and industry leaders highlighted at the event, supported by the British Embassy Dublin, how farmers were innovative and willing to embrace new approaches to key challenges such as including multi-species swards instead of grass only swards because they need less fertilize and can improve soil quality.

Minister Heydon believes it is crucial that the “general consumer” hears more about the positive practices that farmers have adopted and how they are making a difference.

He also said that it is important to ‘get the general public back proud of Irish agriculture and farmers again’ and that there’s been a failure in telling ‘non-farmers’ about the science and innovation behind food production in Ireland.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Martin Heydon

William

I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

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