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17th January 2019 | Agriculture, Climate Change

Scientific advice to reduce meat consumption must come as a wake-up call for Government: Greens

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Ireland’s agriculture sector risks being badly exposed to future trends in food consumption and we must work now to futureproof it.

The EAT-Lancet study published today outlines how major changes in food consumption, notably less meat and dairy, are needed to stop climate breakdown and feed a growing population.

The Green Party are calling on the Government to take heed of this clear warning and work to reform our food sector so we can take advantage of these changes and not fall victim to them.

The current plans are out of date and risk dragging the Irish rural economy in exactly the wrong direction by increasing the national herd.

Pippa Hackett, Green Party spokesperson on Agriculture, said:

“This Government cannot continue to ignore the concerns and advice of the world’s scientists. This is not just about climate change, it is about changing ecosystems, biodiversity, soils, water quality and air quality.

“Ireland has a fantastic opportunity to lead on this, and Irish farmers have a natural advantage to deliver higher quality meat and dairy produce, as well as grains, vegetables and fruit.  If world food consumption habits result in a reduction of beef and dairy intake, then the “less but better” approach can work really well here.

“When the fines come, it will be the farmers who will yet again take the blame for reckless Government decisions, and poor leadership from our farm organisations.

“The Government rhetoric of increasing production is no longer fit for purpose, and it’s time Irish agriculture started to  look at adding value, rather than volume, to boost sales.”