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New organisation to represent tillage sector

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 4:29pm

With huge uncertainty affecting Irish farmers, a new organisation has been launched this week to champion and promote a sustainable Irish tillage sector.

Tillage Industry Ireland will be an umbrella entity for many of the existing representative organisations in the tillage sector to work together for a sustainable, vibrant and viable tillage industry in Ireland.

The new organisation will be headed up by its President and spokesperson, Matt Dempsey, who is also a tillage farmer.

Speaking at the launch on Monday Matt Dempsey said: “Tillage Industry Ireland has been established to provide a cohesive voice for Irish tillage and to promote and build confidence within the sector.

“It will champion the importance of a sustainable tillage industry within Irish agriculture supporting the reputation of Irish food and drink exports, which now exceed €12 billion annually.

The organisation encompasses all layers within the tillage supply chain including growers, merchants, consultants and the seed trade, along with crop protection and fertiliser suppliers.”

The tillage sector in Ireland extends to around 350,000 hectares of farm land. Crops grown include cereals (barley, wheat, oats and maize), vegetables, root crops, and the full range of horticultural crops for the fresh and processing markets.

In total, around two million tonnes of cereal crops are produced each year, valued at up to €400m at farm gate.

The sector supports over 10,000 jobs directly in addition to a significant number of jobs in the supply and downstream trading and processing industries.

Irish tillage supports many locally based and highly innovative industries including machinery design and manufacture, plant breeding, the drinks industry, food oils and crop protection.

Providing a voice

Mr Dempsey added: “Tillage Industry Ireland is developing a vision for a sustainable and competitive tillage sector within Irish agriculture that is built around innovation, high quality and full traceability throughout the food chain.”

He said that Tillage Industry Ireland’s mission is to “provide a voice for the sector and to plot a course for the Irish tillage industry, including promoting the benefits of an integrated agriculture sector for the sustainability of all agricultural enterprises.

“This will include the production and marketing of quality traceable foods, drinks and feedstuffs, as well as developing the role of tillage production in providing solutions for protecting and improving both water quality and biodiversity, in addition to helping mitigate emissions from agriculture.”

 

Membership

Tillage Industry Ireland’s membership is made up of representatives of the Irish Farmers’ Association Grain Committee (IFA), the Animal and Plant Health Association (APHA), the Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA), Independent Merchants Ltd (ACORN), the Federation of Agricultural Retail Merchants (FARM), the Irish Fertilizer Manufacturers’ Association (IFMA), the Irish Tillage Consultants’ Association (ITCA) and the Irish Farmers’ Journal (IFJ).

Matt Dempsey has spent his career promoting and supporting Irish farming and the food industry in a range of high-profile roles at the heart of the industry.

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