Denis Naughten is calling on IBEC, the umbrella organisation for Meat Industry Ireland, to directly intervene in the beef dispute and ensure that both it and Retail Ireland, which represents the major supermarkets, gather around the negotiating table before “irreparable damage is caused to the beef industry”.
“Walking away from talks and locking the gates as Meat Industry Ireland has done, will not only fail to resolve the current beef price impasse but is likely to lead to farmers leaving the industry altogether, which will have long-term consequences for meat processors,” the TD outlined.
“We are at a crossroads in the beef sector with many farmers looking at selling off their stock for good, which will see land abandoned and ragwort and furze bushes taking over, converting rural Ireland into 40 shades of yellow.”
Irish grass-fed beef
He asked how will the beef processors promote Irish grass-fed beef when “they will only be able to bring buyers to either large factory farms or vast swathes of rural Ireland covered in yellow weeds”.
“If this happens it has far-reaching implications for other IBEC members right across this country.
“I cannot recall a situation where an IBEC member organisation has snubbed the invitation of a Cabinet Minister to sit down to talks.”
The fact is that this situation can only be resolved around the table and we now need constructive movement from the meat industry and IBEC,” Naughten concluded.
Image source: Denis Naughten \ Website