Three Steps to Meeting Ireland’s Climate and Biodiversity Goals:
- Converting 2.8 Mha to Natural Ecosystems. The majority of large farmers and all small farmers will increase their income by continuing to receive their current CAP payments while divesting from animal agriculture.
- Converting 1.7 Mha to Plant Based Agriculture. 1.7 Mha of Plant Based Agriculture produces three times the food calories of our current 4.5 Mha meat and dairy system.
- Reducing Agricultural Land use by 62% from 4.5 Mha to 1.7 Mha. On average over 80% of farms in Ireland, on 3 Million hectares (Mha), receive more than 100% of their income from subsidies. These farms already operate at an economic loss meaning family farm income is actually less than the current level of subsidies.
50% of Land for Biodiversity Reduces Climate Change Emissions by 50%
By transitioning to a plant based agricultural system and restoring native forests, grasslands, bogs and wetlands to 50% of the total Land Area we can reduce our GHG Emissions by over 50% and allow our biodiversity to recover.
Our Campaign Goals:
Farmers should be allowed to retain their current CAP Payments in return for Ecosystems Services
- Farmers who divest from animal farming should be allowed to keep their current CAP payments in return for Ecosystem Services. We have shown that for many farmers this will result in increased income for these farmers. We have outlined various types of Ecosystems Services here.
- Set the maximum CAP payment at €50,000.
Support farmers in transitioning to Plant Based Agriculture
- All Government Departments need to be aligned for Ireland to meet our climate change and biodiversity obligations. For this reason the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine together with Teagasc and Bord Bia should be working with farmers and food processors to transition to a food secure plant based food system.
Expand the horticulture industry in Ireland
- Encourage more farmers to grow crops such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, pulses and hemp.
- Reduce dependence on chemicals in agriculture and phase out the use of dangerous pesticides.
- Support and expand the organic farming sector in Ireland.
- Support the establishment of an Irish Plant Based Milk Industry from crops like oats and hemp.
- The hemp industry in Ireland should be supported. In particular, the process of obtaining a license needs to be simplified. Hemp is a crop which is easy to grow and has a multitude of uses as we have outlined here.
- Set up Land Trusts in order to conserve land and to use the land for ecosystem restoration, establishing native woodlands, grasslands and wetlands. Farmers should have the option of donating their land to a land trust.
Encourage the public to move towards a plant-based diet
- Educate dieticians and doctors about plant-based diets.
- Create a public awareness campaign about the benefits of plant-based diets.
Phase out certain types of farming
- Close Factory Farms for human and animal health reasons, and in order to reduce the emergence of new viruses and infectious diseases.
- Ban the use of Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture.
- We are calling for the end of subsidies for commercial fishing.
End the legal and illegal trade in wildlife for food, medicines or other uses.