Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue TD, has today hit out at Minister Creed saying there is nothing to prevent him engaging with farming representative organisations and the meat industry to address the growing crisis affecting the beef sector and called on him to do so immediately
He commented, “It is simply not acceptable that Minister Creed continues to watch from the sidelines as the Beef Crisis escalates with continuing pickets by the Beef Plan Movement at factory gates this week and last week’s protests by the IFA at the EU Veterinary Office in Co Meath.
“The only contribution that Minister Creed has offered at this time of growing crisis is that he cannot become involved because the Government can’t directly intervene in the determination of prices paid to farmers.
“Minister Creed is choosing to ignore the fact that it is his role to provide leadership to the sector and that he and the Government have a central role to play in addressing many of the issues being raised by farmers. He should meet with all stakeholders immediately to discuss how these can be addressed and, in particular how transparency can be brought into the beef supply chain.
“Minister Creed should also facilitate independent mediation between farmers and the processing sector to address the price issue. While he cannot address this directly, he can certainly ensure that a mechanism is put in place to enable engagement between the Beef Plan Movement, Farming Organisations and the Meat Processing Sector,” he concluded.
Echoing his comments, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Food and Horticulture, Jackie Cahill TD said, “Minister Creed and the Government needs to recognise the unbearable financial pressure that beef farmers are under and the role he must play in addressing it.
“We need to see a plan to increase live exports over the coming months to provide more competition in the market. We also need to see a commitment that further financial support will available to address the losses being experienced. Base beef prices are now lower than experienced during the reference period of September to May covered by the recently announced €100 million EU co funded BEAM scheme.
“Further assistance for farmers is going to be required and Minister Creed needs to provide the assurances that this will be forthcoming” concluded Deputy Cahill.