Latest from EU Member States

Ireland | Wake Up and Smell the Ammonia

In Ireland, dangerous levels of ammonia emissions are driven largely by the burgeoning cattle population. Yet policymakers are turning a blind eye to the link between ammonia pollution and the expanding national herd. The evidence shows that Ireland is pursuing growth in the agri-food sector at the expense of air quality, biodiversity and human health, reports Alison Brogan. […]

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Ireland | EIPs make the case for a better CAP

A group of EIPs – European Innovation Partnerships – has come together in Ireland to argue the case for this environmentally engaged form of farming. So what’s next – will some of the methods and approaches used in these EIPs become templates for other farming regions in Ireland, or for the design of CAP schemes, or for more market-orientated approaches such as PDO and PGI? Here we publish a joint letter by a number of EIPs from Ireland to help stimulate this debate.  […]

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Ireland | Remote Work Could Rejuvenate Rural Communities

We don’t know yet what the “new normal” will look like, but we do know that remote work can work – with the right supports. In Ireland, the pull of jobs in the city and abroad has hollowed out rural areas, and young graduates have little incentive to return home after completing their studies in Dublin. Many young graduates from rural areas would jump at the chance to stay put and pursue their careers remotely, rather than facing crippling rents in Dublin, or a crippling commute. Now is the time for a paradigm shift in working life to rejuvenate rural communities, argues Luke Kent. […]

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Alan Matthews on the Current CAP process in Ireland

In this second of a two part series with Alan Matthews, we discuss his home country of Ireland and CAP. Oliver Moore speaks with Matthews on Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions; its increasing herd size, in particular in dairy; the success of the European Innovation Partnerships; the role of coops; issues facing the beef sector; diversification and more.   […]

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Ireland | Beef Plan Movement Steps up Protest

On Wednesday the 10th of July an estimated 2,500 farmers took to the streets of Dublin to protest against the proposed Mercosur deal. The protest was organised by Beef Plan, a voluntary not for profit organisation set up in October 2018 by a small group of farmers from Meath (in Ireland’s centre-east). Since then, its membership has grown to over 20,000. So who are they and what do they want?  […]

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Ireland | Agriculture as part of a Just Transition

How can the agricultural sector in Ireland be part of a Just Transition to address inequality in the sector and tackle climate change? Agriculture is not only a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland, it is also the most unequal sector in the Irish economy in income terms. When it comes to climate change and agriculture, we need to change how we think about the challenge of reducing emissions. Farmers and their communities must play a central role in planning climate action to ensure it is good for farmers as well as the planet. […]

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Farm Diversification – Agroforestry and Agritourism in Ireland

What future strategies exist for livestock farmers in Ireland? Beef farmers are struggling, and fighting over a EU/Irish government handout of E100 million due to clauses attached. A small number have opted for a different, more diversified route. Read about Jane Shackleton’s organic farm with Galloway cattle, sheep and an agri-tourism enterprise in the lakelands of Ireland.  […]

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Ireland’s New Organic Action Plan | Committed – to What?

Like most EU Member States, Ireland periodically develops an action plan for its organic sector. There, a team of stakeholders, drawn from the conventional and organic sectors, as well as representatives of the Irish state’s Department of Agriculture, have developed the Organic Action Plan for Ireland, 2019-2025. Ireland has among the very lowest number of organic farmers, and organic land area, in European organics. So what difference will this plan make? […]