Leader of newly formed organisation, Ireland’s Future, Gerry Loftus, has said there are questions that must be answered following the recent beef talks.
“At a time where cattle and sheep farmers are in a financial crisis, these talks have achieved absolutely nothing.”
“In fact, there is a stench coming from these talks and we need to find where exactly it’s coming from.” he added.
“Proposals were introduced that were not on the agenda, nor were they discussed at the talks previously, so where did the proposal to allow 12c/kg bonus on O grade and 4 plus fat score cattle come from?”
Loftus is “demanding to know who proposed this”, stating, it is in the interest of each farming organisation present at the talks to clarify their position. “Were these talks hijacked? It’s now very clear that this a flawed process.”
‘No support for prime beef’
“Minister Creed must also justify how he can support a €7.2 million injection for poor-quality O grade cattle with no support coming for prime beef.”
“A 300kg carcase at 12c/kg equals to €36. Bord Bia figures suggest this will benefit 200,000 cattle at €36 euro/ animal - that equates to €7.2 million. Who is going to foot this bill?”
Loftus is of the opinion that these proposals must be “rejected outright” and there must be financial aid for the primary beef sector.
“It’s time we called this industrialised-business led model of Irish agriculture what it is, a disaster for Irish farm families.”
“The rural economy is dead - ask any small business and how Minister Creed can deem Foodwise 2025 a success is reminiscent of where he is at, fully in bed with the corporate farming organisations and the Agricultural business sector.”
The Mayo native believes that “it won’t come as a shock if farmers are on picket lines again next week”.
He has called for a complete re-design of Irish agriculture, a new vision that will provide clean air, clean water and top-quality chemical-free, naturally produced carbon-neutral food with all sectors treated equally. “If there is not a new approach, this will not end well.” he concluded.