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Meat Industry Ireland Praises Environmental Steps Taken By Irish Agri-Food Industry

Meat Industry Ireland has given its support to the views expressed by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny at COP 21 in Paris, where he put forth the steps being taken in Ireland aiming to meet the challenge of climate change while improving the efficiency and sustainability of agriculture and food production in Ireland.

According to the Ibec group, the country’s grass-based production system has natural advantages for farming in an environmentally friendly way, and that the industry has responsibly addressed agricultural emissions and the preservation of the natural environment

"The meat industry strongly supports the argument that environmental protection, economic competitiveness and food security should not be disentangled,” commented MII Director Cormac Healy.

“Instead they should be seen as complementary policies each fulfilling important goals, being mutually dependent rather than being mutually exclusive.”

He added that even though the Irish meat industry recognises the impact of the agricultural industry on the environment, which he says stems from the major role it has in the Irish economy, Ireland still has a more sustainable food production industry than in many countries.

Saying that the meat sector alone supports more than €100,000 jobs and accounts for €3.5 billion in export earnings per year, Healy commented, "It would be foolhardy in the extreme to curb the production of beef in a country where we produce in an extensive grass-based system that is far more efficient and sustainable than elsewhere in the world.”

The group also says that the meat industry is committed to Bord Bia’s Origin Green Initiative, which involves a sustainability audit of all farms and the use of a Carbon Navigator tool that allows farmers to focus on improving their environmental efficiency.

He concluded by remarking that, according to the World Bank, “if every cow was as good as the top 10% produced in Ireland we would have one-third less methane emissions on the planet”.

© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.

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