Joe Healy

  • IFA President Joe Healy said the change in carbon emissions attributed to agriculture today was not unexpected, due to the increased market demand coinciding with the ending of the milk quota regime in 2015, which had been in place since 1984.
    He said, "Ireland is the most carbon efficient producer of milk in the European Union and our beef farmers are in the top five.

    Mr Healy says Ireland has a natural advantage in food production due to our grass-based production system. At present no credit is given in the climate data to the contribution that Ireland’s permanent pasture and hedgerows make to carbon sequestration. This is not giving a fair picture of the overall positive contribution of agriculture,” he says.

    He claims Irish farmers have been frustrated for years due to milk quotas and that we need to evaluate the increased emissions in the context of the economic and social sustainability of rural Ireland.
    Teagasc has set out a climate roadmap with 27 measures that can be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These include the delivery of the huge potential for the production of farm-scale renewable energy and the Government needs to incentivise this,” he says.

    Joe Healy concluded by restating his call on An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar to demonstrate the necessary climate leadership required by coordinating the coming together of the necessary government departments and state agencies to deliver the full climate abatement potential of the Teagasc climate report.

  • Irish farmers are demanding price rises as China expands its international import markets for meat to replace the millions of pigs killed by African swine fever this year.

    IFA president, Galway based Joe Healy, insists that access to Chinese markets must deliver a return above the cost of production for Irish farmers.

    It comes as the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed leads a trade visit to China this week with Bord Bia.

    According to today’s Irish Independent,the demand for beef in China is said to be boosting prices, business and profits for European and South American meat-packers as it re-shapes global markets for pork, beef and chicken.

    Rabobank estimates that China's pig herd, the world's largest, fell by 50pc in the first eight months of this year.

    With 21 Irish plants approved, industry sources here say Irish beef exports to China could now rise to 28,000 tonne, worth up to €170m annually.

    Dawn Meats expects to supply €5m worth of beef a year, following recent audits that gave a number of its plants approval to export.

    However, competition in China is set to heat up, with many more meat plants in Argentina and Brazil having recently been approved to export.


  • The IFA has written to the Competition Authority seeking an urgent meeting, to clarify the authority's position on cattle prices being discussed at beef talks.

    Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy says the Beef Plan movement were advised that they would have to accept a pre-condition that prices could not be discussed, before entering into the recent talks.

    Those talks ended last week with a deal, which has since been rejected by the Beef Plan movement, and unofficial farmer protests are underway at several meat plants across the country in an effort to ensure better cattle prices.

    The IFA President says it's unclear why such a pre-condition applied, and he's looking for an explanation from the Competition Authority before re-entering any talks.

    Mr Healy believes that talks being held, without price being on the table, is a waste of time and makes a mockery of beef farmers....

  • The Irish Farmers Association has decided to protest outside today's Beef Forum meeting, rather than participating in the forum.

    Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy says his organisation has tried to constructively engage over the past few years at the Beef Forum, which is presided over by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, but claims nothing has been delivered for farmers in the livestock sector.

    The IFA claims the Minister has failed to tackle the beef factories over the loss-making prices on offer to farmers, and says the Government must deliver for the sector in next week's Budget.

  • The IFA will be intensifying its campaign against the Mercosur trade deal this week.  

    The farming organisation is holding a lobby session for all TDs and Senators today to build opposition to the deal.  

    As part of the campaign, IFA is highlighting the environmental damage done by beef production in Brazil with a slogan ‘One Burned Every Minute’, a reference to a recent BBC report which shows that the size of a football pitch in the rain forest is burned down every minute to clear ground for grazing and cattle ranching.

    Tomorrow IFA President Joe Healy will travel to Brussels to meet other farm leaders who are opposed to the deal. 

    Joe has been telling Midwest News today why he believes the Mercosur deal is bad for farmers, for the environment and for consumers and has been explaining why the IFA is raising its opposition campaign to it