Members of the Dáil Rural Independent Group have made a direct plea to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to formally intervene in order to avert further destabilisation of the beef sector. The Rural Group members say they are increasingly concerned that the absence of a Beef Roundtable like forum in which grievances and positions can be constructively aired may lead to long term challenges for the beef and suckler sector.
Speaking on behalf of the Rural Group, it’s Convenor, Deputy Mattie McGrath said that beef farmers are experiencing enormous levels of frustration at the apparent unwillingness of the Minister to take a more hands-on approach to the crisis afflicting their industry:
“As rural TD’s we are witnessing almost unprecedented anger among beef farmers at the way in which this entire crisis is being addressed.
There is a palpable sense, especially in the Beef Plan Movement, that the Minister and indeed the government are just not fully appreciative of what is at stake here.
We accept that suppliers have an important role to play in the sector, but the fact is that they, along with the chaos being caused by Brexit and the trade and anti-competitive nature of Mercosur, are effectively removing the foundations for any kind of return to growth or even normality within the Irish beef sector.
Our entire indigenous beef sector and all that goes with that in terms of the local economic impact is being threatened. The Minister needs to act and address this issue with that clearly in mind.
There is little point talking about supports if at the same time you are allowing conditions to prevail where there will be no market to speak of in a few years’ time,” concluded Deputy McGrath.