“These Teagasc figures follow on from a Eurostat survey which showed Irish farmers are suffering more than others in the EU. While EU farm incomes fell last year by an average of 11.6%, Irish farm incomes fell by 30%.
“Irish farmers are being squeezed out of existence by low prices, high costs and Government cuts. Promises from Fianna Fáil to address the imbalance of power between retailers and food suppliers have so far come to nothing. Fine Gael has produced legislation to outlaw unfair trading practices but the FF/Green Government has failed to adopt it. Measures to improve competitiveness by cutting business input costs are not on the Government’s agenda. By contrast, Fine Gael has published a Bill to cut Government costs by 5%.
“The Fianna Fáil/Green Government seems to be happy for the time to come when we’ll have no home-produced food. Fine Gael sees our food producers as central to economic recovery and is determined to support them. The Teagasc survey also shows the need for a real focus on CAP post-2013 and Fine Gael has prioritised this by holding public meetings around the country on this vital issue.”