IFA warns that Ireland's imports of non-EU maize are undermining Origin Green credentials

File photo

IFA grain chairman, Mark Browne, said that Irish tillage farmers are furious about the continued failure of many animal feed merchants to use local barley.

He cited Eurostat figures, showing Ireland imported 157,000 tonnes of non-EU maize in January alone, with Canada, Ukraine, and Russia as the main sources.

He said that if even a fraction of these imports was reduced in favour of native Irish barley, it would alleviate the immediate problem.

“Many growers are left with stores full of barley, due to the importation of feed ingredients,” said Mr Browne. “It is inexcusable that merchants would ship feed ingredients halfway around the world and not buy Irish grain, which is on their own doorstep.

Farmers are incensed that these non-EU countries, which do not have equivalent standards to Irish grain in relation to sustainability, the environment, and GMOs, yet they have displaced native barley in livestock rations.

He said it is now time to examine the specifics of Irish sustainability schemes, like Origin Green, which promote the importance of local, sustainable sourcing; reduce the carbon footprint; and serve local communities.

He questioned if shunning Irish barley, in favour of importing maize, produced to lower environmental standards, over vast distances, was compatible with the sustainability principles of the programme.


More on this topic

Simple steps can make succession much easier

Mercosur deal is Cecilia Malmstrom’s top priority

FCI seeking farm services Vat rate of 9%

Farmers misled by Government on EU beef fund, claims TD

More in this Section

€15,000 per acre guide price ahead of 95-acre farm auction

Award-winning device to enable farmers to only dose their animals when necessary

Simple steps can make succession much easier

Mercosur deal is Cecilia Malmstrom’s top priority


Lifestyle

Tracing the roots of folk and fairy lore behind everyday plants

More From The Irish Examiner