April 16, 2024
Sinn Féin introduces legislation to establish Commission on the Future of the Family Farm – Claire Kerrane TD and Matt Carthy TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, and Sinn Féin TD for Monaghan-Cavan, Matt Carthy TD, have today introduced the party’s legislation to establish a Commission on the Future of the Family Farm.

Sinn Féin want to establish a Commission on the Future of the Family Farm, which would bring together stakeholders and experts tasked with bringing forward proposals aimed at allowing our farms not just to survive but to thrive over the rest of this century and beyond. 

The establishment of a Commission is a long-standing call from Sinn Féin, and the legislation was developed during Teachta Carthy’s time as party spokesperson for Agriculture. The proposal has also been included in our most recent general election manifesto and subsequent annual alternative budgets.

The legislation was introduced at first stage in the Dáil today by Teachtas Kerrane and Carthy.

Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:

“As someone born, raised and living on a family farm, I am glad to have the opportunity to introduce this piece of legislation, honouring a key commitment made by my party.

“This legislation is about protecting the family farm, responding to and planning for the challenges family farms face and bringing forward comprehensive and practical recommendations on how this can be done in a proactive way.

“It is about taking action to sustain family farms recognising their value to our island and to our communities, economically and socially.

“We cannot and should not leave the Agriculture sector to chance, reacting to some crises, leaving some Farmers feeling alone and struggling, with no plan for the threat that some of our family farms feel under especially with rising input costs and in the face of climate action pressures.

“This legislation will establish a Commission whose sole responsibility will be protecting and sustaining the family farm – reporting and making recommendations directly to the Minister and this House on securing it’s economic viability, it’s future through generational renewal and succession planning, promoting a better understanding of how we produce food, and supporting farming families in meeting climate challenges.

“We have also incorporated accountability into the legislation to ensure we do not establish a talking shop – their recommendations will go before the Dáil, each recommendation made by the Commission will be responded to be Government and if being rejected, the reason why with a clear timeline to be given on implementation.

“Sinn Féin believe that, with the right engagement and appropriate supports, the future of our family farms can be secured for many generations to come.”

Adding to this, Teachta Carthy said:

“The Irish family farm must be protected.

“Society has increased the demands on our farmers.

“They are expected to produce the highest quality food in the world, which they do. And they are expected to do that within the strictest animal welfare, environmental, biodiversity and climate rules in the world.  Which they do.

“What’s needed is fairness.  A fair CAP, fair prices and fair play.

“Our farming families face an onslaught of challenges but Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael representatives, in Ireland and in Europe, add to the burden, expecting farmers to do more while receiving less supports.

“The challenge for those of us in public life is to put in place the framework that will allow our farming community to meet the challenges while remaining in businesses.

“Successive governments have failed in that regard.

“Sinn Féin’s legislation mandates government to establish a Commission on the Future of the Family Farm.  The commission will be charged with examining the needs of the family farm as they contribute to biodiversity protection and emission reductions; but also to set out the necessary supports to ensure the continued economic viability of the family farm while they do so.”

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