The Tipperary man heading the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has pointed to two key issues that he believes will dominate the General Election from the viewpoint of farmers and the wider agri-sector.
According to Pat McCormack, farm income and the pressure that farmers are under to break even or become profitable remains the central issue. The message he has for the General Election candidates is that the time for sympathetic words is over and that what is needed are ‘fair prices from a fair market’.
The second issue relates to the demands being made by those he describes as ‘the most aggressive and arrogant elements of the environmental movement’.
He says that farmers realise the reality of climate change but reject the idea that they alone must change their way of life and bear the cost of changing the way they produce food.
He has called for a balance to be brought to the environmental debate and has warned candidates against coming out with ‘glib’ messages based on uninformed knowledge about farming and rural life.