Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary and Party Spokesperson on Food and Horticulture Jackie Cahill has called on Minister Creed to immediately request market disturbance funds from the European Commission for additional beef price losses suffered since May.
Deputy Cahill warned that the current price for beef is unsustainable and if it is not rectified farmers will leave the business.
“Current steer prices are on the floor at €3.45 per KG and farmers are becoming completely disillusioned with the government’s response to the crisis. The situation is exceptionally serious – over the past number of months prices have fallen further than they did during the reference period for the new Beef Exceptional Aid Measure scheme (BEAM)”, said Deputy Cahill.
“The recent negotiations have not resolved the pricing issue, and some protests at factories have resumed. The Minister needs to step in and assure beef farmers that the Irish government will request market disturbance funding from EU Commission.
“Minister Creed is doing little or nothing to use live exports as a tool to solve the supply issue. If live exports are not increased, the price of weanlings and stores will be under pressure at the back end of the year.
“While a number of issues remain to be ironed out, such as the 30-month requirement and four-movement rule, the Minister must now make a request to the Commission for market disturbance funding.
“Commissioner Hogan and his European colleagues must not be left in the dark about just how serious the situation has become. Irish beef farmers need immediate financial support in order to save their livelihoods”.