Independent Chair needed for Beef Talks without pre-conditions
Labour Agriculture Spokesperson Willie Penrose TD has called on the Minister to appoint an independent chair to facilitate talks between the Beef Plan movement and farmers representatives, with the processing sector who he said should agree to meet without pre-conditions.
Deputy Penrose said:
“The beef sector is facing an existential crisis, and market conditions continue to deteriorate. The Minister must act to address the concerns of producers as thousands of farms are concerned about their future.
“Yesterday I attended the protest at the Keepak plant at Rostella, Kilbeggan with Cllr Johnny Penrose. There I heard first hand from farmers who are at their wits end. No farmer wants to be there, but they feel they have no future. At this time of year farmers have a lot of other work to be doing, but these protests show the level of frustration they feel.
“Farmers across Ireland are responding to the collapse of their incomes and want all stakeholders to play their part. As the primary producers of a quality product it is essential that they receive a greater share of the profit from the beef that they produce. For every €10 spent on beef by a consumer, the farmer only gets €2 for the two years of work they put in.
“What I am calling for is for representatives from the beef processing sector Meat Industry Ireland to agree to meet the Beef Plan Movement without preconditions. I also am calling for Minister Creed to appoint an independent chair who will act as a mediator and facilitator of talks between the groups.”