The President of ICMSA, Mr. Pat McCormack has said that a “window of opportunity” in relation to the beef crisis may have opened up that might allow progress to be made towards a solution that “everyone wants and needs”. Mr. McCormack said that talks should be reconvened as soon as possible with a bilateral dimension if necessary, that allows the facilitators to establish on a ‘one-on-one’ basis what the parties want and what a likely solution looks like. Mr. McCormack noted that they could then progress to a roundtable if a feasible solution is possible. He also put forward the suggestion that the individual meat processors should be present alongside Meat Industry Ireland at these talks so that they can hear directly farmer concerns and, importantly, that decisions can be made and agreed by all parties at those talks.
“Our concern here is very straightforward: we’ve been travelling down a road for days now that’s taking us further away from a possible solution. We have to stop going down the road of making things more difficult and compounding difficulties and we have to go back in the direction of solutions; we have to go back where we know that we’ll end up if we are to find an answer”, he said.
“Solutions need to be found and found immediately. The factories need to be part of this solution, but so does the Government and the EU. In this regard, the Minister and his Department can play their part in terms of facilitating talks but – be very clear – they will need to put proposals on the table particularly in the context of the Brexit losses- both to come and already suffered. The situation we find ourselves at present is good for nobody and we need to sit down immediately and put a solution in place. The Minister must insist that all parties come to the table without delay”, concluded Mr. McCormack.
Ends 30 August 2019.
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office