Coverage examples: Every week we take a look at the stories sent through MediaHQ’s press release distribution tool and post the best covered ones in a weekly blog. For this week, Communications Clinic, Sport Ireland, Women’s Aid and Boyle Sports. made it to the top of our list.
Title:For immediate release - Ifac Irish Farm Report 2023: 75% of Irish farmers remain deeply concerned about rising input costs
Author: Sarah Dunne
Email delivery rate: 96%
Date of release: 16th February
Link to the full report - https://www.ifac.ie/irish-farm-report.
For interviews contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 085 853 5647.
75% of Irish farmers remain deeply concerned about rising input costs
§ Over half of Irish farmers could improve their resilience with greater financial planning (incl. budgeting and borrowing)
§ When considering renewables, over half of farmers say barriers are investment and low returns - signalling an appetite for adoption with targeted schemes
§ Over two-thirds of farm families could future-proof their businesses by starting the succession planning process
Against the backdrop of a reasonably profitable year for certain farming sectors, overwhelmingly the biggest concern for Irish farmers - for the second year in a row - is rising input costs such as feed, fertiliser, and energy. That is according to an annual Farm Report conducted by ifac, Ireland’s farming, food and agribusiness specialist professional services firm.
Ifac’s fifth annual Irish farm survey containing the views of 1,160 Irish farmers, and contained within the report, reveals the issues that are front of mind for Irish farmers today. The survey took place between October and December 2022.
The report confirms the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and input cost inflation on farm businesses -three quarters (75%) of Irish farmers say their biggest worry for 2023 is input prices (up 10% on last year). While over half (54%) are concerned about their electricity and gas costs at home, just over a third (34%) have not reviewed their energy provider in the past 12- months; a potential missed opportunity when small savings can still be achieved by switching.
The report also highlights that in this heightened and sustained period of financial pressure, more than half (53%) of this year’s survey respondents do not actively budget and, as interest rates continue to creep higher, over a third (37%) have not reviewed their borrowings for their farm business in the last 12-18 months.
As stewards of our land, Irish farmers are committed to ensuring that they farm sustainably; they have always been willing to take on projects that benefit the environment. As anticipated, climate action to meet Ireland’s climate targets is very much front of mind. More than half (52%) of farmers surveyed say the biggest barrier to adopting renewable projects is the level of financial investment required coupled with the low returns. Yet, to help tackle rising energy costs and for long-term sustainability, 41% say they would lease land to a solar or wind project if the opportunity arose, signalling an appetite for farmer-developed projects (wind energy or solar panels on farms) when targeted schemes come into effect.
Nitrate efficiency, to protect water quality and the environment, is another focus for Irish farmers – over a third (35%) have not checked if the nitrate banding rates will affect their farms. The recent derogation changes and the introduction of the Nitrates Action Plan are likely to have far-reaching income effects for a large cohort of Irish dairy farmers.
The survey also underlines that succession still requires focus – over two-thirds (69%) of Irish farming families have yet to identify a farming successor to start the succession planning process. This is two percentage points higher than last year. While succession can be an emotive hurdle for many farming families, over a quarter (27%) of farmers surveyed say the biggest barrier is the viability of the farm business, making it the No. 1 succession challenge in Ireland today.
Ifac’s Irish Farm Report 2023, titled ‘Championing a sustainable future’, features analysis and tips for each sector, as well as informative case studies and helpful articles for Irish farmers on topics such as succession, renewables, Nitrates Banding, organic farming, interest rates, sustainable investments, employment, and the Fair Deal Scheme).
Other key takeaways include:
· 56% of farmers have a positive outlook for the year ahead - with 74% planning to still be farming in 5 years
· 40% would consider organics
· Fuel and transport costs were also a key concern for 51% of farmers
· 57% are worried about regulations and bureaucracy
· 48% say the cost is the biggest barrier to introducing more technology on their farms
· 22% complete budgets and/or forecasts on a monthly or quarterly basis
· 60% of farmers have a structured pension plan in place
· 90% of farmers have limited or no understanding of the Fair Deal Scheme
· 44% say carrying on the family name is not a factor in determining a future successor
· 44% of farmers with employees agree to wages in Net terms
· 32% of farmers struggle to find available employees – this is the main obstacle to attracting talent for the second year in a row. Other common issues are pay scales
· Only 33% of farm employers have contracts of employment in place
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. said:
“I welcome ifac’s Irish Farm Report 2023. Our great sector is facing a period of challenge, as highlighted in ifac’s report, from rising inflation to environmental concerns. However, it is promising to also see that well over half of Irish farmers remain positive about the year ahead. Both I and the entire Government have been working to support Irish farm families’ livelihoods through these continuing uncertain times, helping them build more resilient businesses in the short and long term.
“Be that through the €90m in direct support farmers including the €1,000/farmer Silage Incentive Scheme as a result of the illegal war in Ukraine or the new €9.8bn CAP, we are focussed on supporting our fam families now and into the future.
“The report also highlights the issue of succession planning – something that can only be addressed sensitively by every farming family at the appropriate time with due consideration for greater gender equality. Enhancing the representation of women in Irish farming is something we are also addressing in Ireland’s new CAP and through the recent National Women’s Dialogue.
“I wish ifac every success with this insightful and practical report. The Government, my Department and ifac have a shared goal - for Irish farming to remain sustainable and to continue providing futures for many generations to come.”
Eoghan Drea, Partner at ifac's Dungarvan office said:
“There is no denying that farmers have experienced serious cost increases in 2022 so, it is encouraging to see that more than half of our survey respondents are optimistic for the coming year, with three-quarters planning to still be farming in five years' time.
“While the recent nitrates derogation changes are not without challenges, there are also opportunities. In areas like organics and, hopefully, renewables. Irish farmers have always been at the forefront of innovation and our report again outlines their commitment to positive environmental initiatives. Owing to fears about farm viability, succession planning is still being put on the back burner. However, in our experience, with the right financial advice and planning a viable option can be identified to help future-proof farm businesses.
“At ifac, we have been supporting and advising farming families for 48 years. We provide expert, tailored advice and a range of supports to help farmers manage their farm finances, enhance efficiencies, and build and strengthen overall profitability. Our teams will continue to support farm families for the next five years and, hopefully, well beyond through all the challenges and opportunities as they unfold.”
Ifac has been at the heart of agriculture and food since 1975, providing a quality service and expert advice to its farming, food, and agri-business clients across the country. A top ten accountancy firm, ifac has over 30 locations nationwide and 500 people serving 22,000 clients.
For more information see www.ifac.ie.
Sixth generation husband and wife team, Brian and Cency McLeer at their milk vending machine business at Forge Field market, Termonfeckin, Co. Louth - Feckin Clogher Milk – for the launch of ifac’s Farm Report 2023. Feckin Clogher Milk offers direct-to-consumer, sustainable sales – they produce 10 flavours in glass bottles, including crème egg, and boast an almost zero carbon footprint (transport).
More about ifac’s annual Irish farm survey
· Ifac’s farmer survey is conducted across all sectors and aspects of farming (1,160 farmers across the country participated in the survey).
· 89% of respondents are male, 10% are female; 48% are aged 51-64, 29% are aged 35-50, and 6% are aged 18-34.
· The sector with the strongest representation is beef, followed by dairy.
2) Sport Ireland
Title:€26m Core Grant Investment package for 2023
Author: Stephen Walsh
Email delivery rate: 83%
Date of release: 14th February
For immediate release
14 February 2023
€26m Core Grant Investment Package for 2023
- €16m investment for 58 National Governing Bodies of Sport
- €10.3m investment for 29 Local Sports Partnerships
Sport Ireland today announced an investment of over €26m to National Governing Bodies for Sport (NGBs) and to the network of Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) for 2023.
This year’s figures see a €1m (6%) increase in allocation to the National Governing Bodies on 2022 funding. The total core funding to the NGBs in 2023 is €16m.
This increased investment provides Sport Ireland with an opportunity to support the majority of governing bodies with a cost-of-living increase for 2023 along with continued targeted investment in a number of specific areas.
The rising costs of sports administration is also acknowledged by Sport Ireland, with NGBs having been provided with additional funding to absorb this expenditure.
Investment into the Local Sports Partnerships has maintained the same level of support for 2023, with a total investment of €10,365,000 being allocated across the 29 Local Sport Partnerships.
Human resourcing in the Local Sports Partnerships has been prioritised, with additional funding for the resourcing of Local Sports Partnership Development Officers and Sport Inclusion Disability Officers to assist with the ongoing vital work being undertaken across the country.
Age & Opportunity will receive €620,000 for their “Go for Life” programme, while Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland will receive €140,000 for Disability Awareness and Disability Inclusion programmes.
The Federation of Irish Sport and Student Sport Ireland will receive €125,000 and €70,000 respectively.
Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne T.D., said: “This significant funding package will support the implementation of important programmes and activities through the National Governing Bodies of Sport and the Local Sports Partnerships in 2023 and is a critical support for the sector and for the ongoing implementation of the National Sports Policy 2018 – 2027. Cost of living pressures are having an impact across the sector and the increased funding announced today, allied to the significant cost of energy supports provided by Government, will ensure that sports clubs across the country are supported in addressing the challenge of rising costs.”
Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, Una May, commented: “The Core Grant Funding will enable Sport Ireland to further support our National Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Sports Partnerships to provide equal opportunities in sport for everyone. The National Sports Policy 2018-2027 has provided the framework for Sport in Ireland to continue to grow and this investment through the NGBs and LSPs will play an important part in increasing activity levels of people in Sport in Ireland and removing the barriers and preventative aspects for getting involved in sport.”
As with previous funding announced, the investment is closely aligned with the National Sports Policy 2018-2027 and the National Physical Activity Plan. A particular emphasis is placed on implementing programmes to promote physical activity, making sport and physical activity accessible to people with a disability and the development of programmes to address transitions and increase volunteer supports.
For Further Information:
Stephen Walsh, Marketing and Communications
Notes For Editors:
Sport Ireland is the authority tasked with the development of sport in Ireland. This includes participation in sport, high performance sport, anti-doping, coaching and the development of the Sport Ireland Campus
Sport Ireland Channels:
- Website: www.sportireland.ie
- Twitter: twitter.com/sportireland
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/SportIreland
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/sportireland
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/sport-ireland
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/sportireland
Title:Angus Robertson Favourite To Succeed Nicola Sturgeon
Author: Lawrence Lyons
Email delivery rate: 100%
Date of release: 15th February
15th February 2023
Angus Robertson Favourite To Succeed Nicola Sturgeon
Forbes & Swinney In The Mix For Top Job
BoyleSports has installed Angus Robertson as the early even money favourite to replace Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader.
The First Minister announced she was standing down in a shock press conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday morning, but will remain in office until the SNP choose a successor from a cohort she said is “awash with talented individuals.”
Constitution secretary Robertson is enjoying the bulk of early support having previously served as Westminster leader for the party before he lost his House of Commons seat in 2017.
One of Sturgeon’s predecessors is also prominent in the betting with current Deputy First Minister John Swinney chalked up at 7/1 to return to the role he held from 2000-2004, but he is only third on the list of likely candidates behind Robertson and Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes (4/1 second favourite).
Lawrence Lyons, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “There appear to be a few strong candidates for the top SNP job and while Angus Robertson is the early frontrunner, we’ll see who else punters plump for in the coming days.”
Next SNP Leader
EVS Angus Robertson
4/1 Kate Forbes
7/1 John Swinney
9/1 Hamza Yousaf
10/1 Keith Brown
14/1 Joanne Cherry
20/1 Mhairi Black
25/1 Shirley-Anne Somerville
33/1 Michael Russell
33/1 Michael Matheson
50/1 Andrew Wilson
Year Of Scottish Independence Referendum
1/16 2025 or later
Result of Next Scottish Independence Referendum
For more information, contact:
Lawrence Lyons, PR Executive, BoyleSports
Phone: +44 7572122401
4) Women’s Aid
Title:MEDIA RELEASE: Young people’s relationship quiz reveals shocking trends in abusive behaviours, says Women’s Aid
Author: Christina Sherlock
Email delivery rate: 99.6%
Date of release: 13th February
EMBARGO 00.01am, Tuesday 14th February 2022
Young people’s relationship quiz reveals shocking trends in abusive behaviours, says Women’s Aid
- The Relationship Quiz at toointoyou.ie, Women’s Aid’s website for young people, has been taken almost 20,000 times since it was launched in November 2022.
- Quiz results reveals how abusive behaviours are very common and have become normalised for young people with the vast majority of respondents revealing serious experiences of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
- Women’s Aid launches a pop-up Valentine’s Shop experience in Dublin to inform young people about red flags of abuse as part of their #TooIntoYou awareness campaign. Experience is designed to start a conversation about healthy and unhealthy relationships and shine a light on unhealthy behaviours.
Tuesday 14th February 2023: Women’s Aid, the national organisation supporting women subjected to intimate relationship abuse, says that unhealthy and abusive behaviours have become normalized according to recent results from the Relationship Quiz at toointoyou.ie, its website aimed at young people. The Relationship Quiz helps young people determine if their relationship is healthy or whether their partner displays behaviours that are unhealthy or abusive.
The quiz has been taken almost 20,000 times since its launch in November 2022 and data shows that 93% (15,887) of respondents said that their partner has threatened to post explicit or intimate images or videos when they have a fight. 83% (12,929) said their partner has hit them once and they’re afraid they will do it again. Shockingly, 72% (12,667) said the person they’re going out always demands to look through their phone and to know all their passwords to everything, and 69% (10,465) said their partner has forced or pressured them to do something sexual that they didn’t want to do. Women’s Aid has released the data as part of the launch of the #TooIntoYou Valentine’s Day awareness raising campaign on the red flags of abuse.
Mary Hayes who leads the #TooIntoYou campaign explains that for many young people the red flags of abuse can be difficult to spot because they have become so normalised as part of young relationships:
“We have seen some really shocking trends coming through in the #TooIntoYou Relationship Quiz. A common unhealthy behaviour we hear about from young people is when their partner demands to look through their phone and social media to see who they’ve been talking to. 72% of quiz respondents said the person they’re going out with always goes through their phone and knows their passwords to everything. This is really worrying because it is an indication that their partner is trying to control who they talk to and doesn’t respect their privacy. Your partner demanding to look through your phone and knowing all your passwords is a common red flag of abuse. In young relationships it can be confusing because if this is seen as the norm, it sets a precedent for other unhealthy behaviours which can get worse and more dangerous over time.”
Another trend around the sharing of intimate images came through in the results. 93% (15,877) of respondents said that their partner has threatened to post explicit or intimate images or videos of them when they have a fight. This is particularly concerning because, not only is it illegal to threaten to share intimate images of someone without their consent, it indicates that coercive behaviour like this is incredibly common. A startling amount of people reported other serious unhealthy behaviours in their relationship with 69% (10,465) of respondents saying their partner has forced or pressured them to do something sexual that they didn’t want to do and 83% (12,929) said their partner has hit them once and are afraid they will do it again.
Ms Hayes continues:
“If those behaviours continue to be brushed off as "not a big deal," or excused as jealousy or insecurity then it creates a harmful picture of what young people should expect in their intimate relationships. It is essential that we call these behaviours out as abusive and unacceptable. So much of what young people understand about relationships is unhealthy. With our #TooIntoYou campaign we want young people to know what an unhealthy relationship looks like, so they are able to spot the red flags early on before things get more serious and they become isolated.”
To launch the #TooIntoYou campaign Women’s Aid is running their #TooIntoYou pop-up experience on Valentine’s Day at 2 Henry Street, Dublin 1. The space, inspired by the #LoveBetter campaign from One Love in the U.S., is designed to show that abuse can hide in relationships that seem romantic on the surface.
Ms Hayes explains the thinking behind the experience:
“The #TooIntoYou Valentine’s experience will disrupt young people’s understanding of what romance looks like and start a conversation about the red flags of abuse. In the space you will see common Valentine’s gifts like teddy’s, balloons, and chocolates which have been transformed to highlight the common red flags of relationship abuse. For example, red love-heart balloons with the messages ‘Let me see your phone’ and ‘Who were you with last night?’, and a GPS tacker disguised as a necklace. We hope that the space will make young people think twice about how they are treated in their intimate relationships and encourage them to reach out to us at toointoyou.ie if they need support.”
Women’s Aid’s #TooIntoYou campaign will run from 14th February to International Women’s Day, 8th March. The campaign aims to teach young people about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and raise awareness of the supports for young people at the website toointoyou.ie
Support for anyone affected: Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900, open seven days a week.
Instant Message Support Service on www.toointoyou.ie, open mornings and evenings, seven days a week.
Campaign photos will be made available by Paul Sharp by 1pm, 13th February 2023 with embargo of 00.01 14th February 2023. Email email@example.com or call 0866689087.
Press call at 10am to 10.30am on Tuesday 14th February 2023 at 2 Henry Street, Dublin 1.
For more information contact Christina Sherlock on 0879192457or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Producers/Researchers:
- Mary Hayes, Too Into You Project Lead, is available for interview.
- Download the Relationship Quiz Statistics Sheet here: https://www.womensaid.ie/assets/files/pdf/too_into_you_relationship_quiz_results.pdf
- Case studies from survivors of abuse available in text only: https://www.toointoyou.ie/stories-from-survivors/
- Case study from survivor available in recording: https://we.tl/t-t3drnDfSiJ
- Results from the Relationship Quiz available here: https://we.tl/t-BEjX1TTJXu
- Pop-up Valentine’s experience is inspired by #LoveBetter campaign by One Love is the U.S: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFYkslIiHmI
- #TooIntoYou campaign and event is kindly supported YSL Beauté, Irish Life, and Lisney.
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