A presentation was made to farmer representatives of the livestock committee of the Irish Farmers Association. John Carty of the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine presented details of past, present and future agri-environmental schemes. Questions were then taken from the group and an open discussion took place. The group in attendance was circa 40 with representatives from Teagasc and the Irish Department of Agriculture.

The farmers that took part in this meeting felt that agri-environmental schemes were very useful for the improvement of biodiversity and environmental sustainability of their farm. They indicated that actions such as the incentivisation of tree planting and maintenance of hedgerows and wild bird covers also enhanced the aesthetics of their farms.

Farmers were concerned that the costs associated with implementing certain actions to the specifications required in more recent schemes neutralised the economic gain of partaking. They stated that as a result farmers may not be encouraged to volunteer for these schemes.

Farmers were worried that actions undertaken for agri-environmental schemes were similar to those required for other schemes such as the organic farming scheme. In this instance the farmer would not be encouraged to join both schemes as payment can only be received once on a particular action regardless of scheme.

Most farmers in attendance would be happy to recommend these types of schemes to other beef farmers.

This demonstration is linked to the research innovation on the 'The Common Agricultural Policy: some practical examples from different regions'.