“Minister must convene emergency meeting of Beef Roundtable,” Mattie McGrath
Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to take immediate steps toward convening a meeting of the Beef Roundtable forum. Deputy McGrath was speaking as protests by the Beef Plan Movement continue apace as part of efforts across the sector to highlight the unprecedented threat to the beef and sucker market:
“The Minister last Chaired a meeting of the Beef Roundtable last October. Since then the threats to the industry and the financial contagion risk that these represent for the entirety of rural Ireland have escalated with alarming rapidity.
We need an immediate, high level meeting of all stakeholders right across the farming community to try and navigate a way forward; one that will save the livelihoods of tens of thousands of families.
When he spoke last October, Minister Creed urged processors to engage positively with their farmer suppliers to build the sustainability of the sector as a whole and to ensure a reasonable return for the farmers upon whom the sector relies for its development.
Yet absolutely nothing of the kind has occurred. They have simply ignored him because they see that this government really does not mean what it says.
By and large the producers and the supermarket multiples continue to impose disgraceful losses on to the back of beef farmers and indeed other parts of agri-food sector.
We cannot allow that to continue.
Between Brexit and Mercosur, and the vicious unfairness being perpetrated by the factories, beef farmers and farmers in general do not stand a hope of being able to sustain a living unless we rebalance the scales to allow fair conditions and pricing to emerge,” concluded Deputy McGrath.