Farming is about being a custodian of natural resources, landscapes and biodiversity. It is about using these responsibly. The multi-generational family farm is seen as an ideal way to manage land but they need to be viable so to regenerate themselves.
A sustainable future for the family farm is about linking farms to local food processing and the premium-paying consumer so as to improve farm incomes. It is also about rural jobs to provide off-farm income. It is about a dynamic rural economy.
With a historic focus on commodity sales has Irish farming become over reliant on EU payments to provide income to the farm household? As a consequence, our aim is to help farmers to move into supply chains linked to premium-foods markets.
The transition to having sustainable family farms will require changes on farm and in the supply-chain. After years of neglecting premium-value consumer products, investment is needed on farm and in new supply chains and this will need grant aid.