Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Food and Horticulture Jackie Cahill TD has contacted the Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine to request the appearance of Minister Michael Creed before it to outline what progress has been made in resolving the ongoing beef crisis.
He’s also calling on the Minister to reconvene talks between farming organisations, the meat industry and retailers.
“Beef farmers are at their wits end, under severe financial pressure and struggling to maintain their livelihoods. It is this utter despair that has forced individual farmers to return to protest at some factories”, said Deputy Cahill.
“The Minister and government need to be held accountable for what actions, if any, they are taking to resolve the crisis. There has been a clear lack of interest to stand up for farmers, despite the precarious challenge they are facing.
“In consultation with party colleagues, I have contacted the Chair of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee Pat Deering TD asking that an emergency meeting take place as the earliest possible date and that Minister Creed be invited to attend.
“This will afford members the opportunity to question the Minister about the current situation, and whether any progress has been made in attempting to reconvene talks with all stakeholders, including retailers.
“Minister Creed will also be able to update TDs and Senators on their requests to submit an application to the European Commission for CAP market disturbance funding, to alleviate the severe drop in beef prices which farmers have been struggling with since May.
“I am also liaising with the Committee Chair to facilitate farm organisations to appear before committee regarding the ongoing crisis. It is fundamental that all these issues are addressed by the Minister including the low prices factories are giving farmers for cattle.
“The government needs to take swift action to safeguard the beef sector given the threats posed to it, not only from the current price instability, but also the ever-increasing possibility of a no deal Brexit”.