Published: Wed, 04 October 2023
Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland South welcomed over 90 representatives from Kerry Co-Operative Creameries to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Monday 2nd October.
The group enjoyed a tour of the Parliament building and had the opportunity to observe the parliament’s plenary session. The tour was followed by a productive discussion with MEP Kelly on recent developments in agriculture and climate policy at EU and national level.
Denis Carroll, Chairman of the Kerry Co-op board, said “On behalf of Kerry Co-op I want to express our gratitude to Sean Kelly MEP for meeting us on Monday evening. We built our tour around this event and we are very grateful for all of the work that was put in to organising it. Sean’s professionalism ensured we had a very successful and very well coordinated visit to the Parliament. We also want to acknowledge how well briefed Sean was on the various issues we raised with him and the directness of his answers. Our group are very honoured to have a man of his calibre representing us in the European Parliament.”
During the discussion, Kelly providing insights on pertinent trade agreements, such as the EU’s potential agreement with Mercosur, and environmental policies, such as the Carbon Removal Certification Framework, which he believes will impact on Irish farmers.
Kelly emphasised the changing attitudes towards farmers in Europe, stating, “Farmer’s importance in Europe is recognised now more than ever, particularly in the context of the war in Ukraine and the escalating concerns regarding food security.”
Kelly called on the group to become more proactive, and gain more familiarity with the EU agenda. “Farmers should organise and highlight their concerns, not limiting their voices to just the week of crucial agricultural votes. Actively participating throughout the legislative agenda is a far more productive means of ensuring your opinions shape the policy-making process.”
John O’Connor, board member of Kerry Co-Operative, spoke after the visit, “as Kerry farmers and advisors with Kerry co-op, we felt it was important to visit the European Parliament because important decisions are made here in Strasbourg which affect our life’s on a daily basis. Sincere thanks to Sean Kelly MEP and his team for making our visit happen.”