A “complete lack of trust” remains between farmers and processors, according to Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley.
The TD made the comments after he introduced Sinn Féin’s ‘Beef Price Transparency Bill’ into the Daíl last week; he hopes that this “will go some way to providing much-needed transparency”.
“The way things are currently set, plays right into the hands of the processors who are taking advantage of a situation where there is very little transparency around price.”
“Our Bill would make it a mandatory obligation on the processors to provide price transparency through a central system and on a daily basis.” Stanley explained.
“This would mean there would be a record there that farmers could easily tap into and see exactly what price is being paid by factories and processors and it would be categorised by grade.’
He said that without this basic information, farmers are put at a “serious disadvantage” each time they go sell their cattle, leaving the "door open to processors for price exploitation”.
‘Absolutely no trust’
“Speaking to farmers who protested outside Dawn Meats in Rathdowney and other factories, it was clear that there was absolutely no trust between farmers and the factory owners.”
“This is a sector that has been unstable for years now. It doesn’t work for farmers and it doesn’t provide any security for workers in the factories, or lorry drivers.”
“We need to bring stability and certainty to this sector, and we can start doing that by underpinning transparency rules through legislation.” concluded Stanley as he called on all parties to support this piece of legislation.