The new Cork Sustainable Farming Association is to host webinars with a focus on Mallow, Fermoy, Rathcormac and Midleton over the coming months.

Its plans to grow organic produce on behalf of food charities has currently been made impractical by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Tadgh Quill-Manley, a voluntary director and secretary for the association, has said that the CSFA is now focusing on advocacy in addition to practical work.

“The State is facing billions of euros in fines for failing to meet its EU emissions targets. Whether we like it or not, rightly or wrongly, the fact remains that the finger is constantly being pointed at farming and we ought to be practical in making sure that money goes to meeting our targets as opposed to haemorrhaging it in penalties. 

“Support in getting around large obstacles, such as changes in method or equipment, by means of effective government subsidy, will go a long way to achieve this. 

“The idea that the market will do this by itself is a complete fallacy and a naive one at best. Of course, I do honestly believe that we are being wronged to a great extent.

“In comparison to cattle feedlots in the USA and France, we are much more sustainable but at the same time rabble rousing will do little to help things. We need to be shrewd, flexible and creative about this,” he said.

The association has faced delays in its progress due to the pandemic, but will be announcing dates for virtual events on its social media page.