Independent TD Michael Collins spoke in the Dáil about the beef industry crisis. “Over the past number of years, the beef farmer, bit by bit is being squeezed out of business,” he said.
“The very mention of Brexit a couple of years ago gave the perfect excuse for the factories to cut the prices, which is down from 25c - 40c/kg, or about €150 per head”.
“This is a serious concern. Now, these farmers are losing money and many of these farmers won’t be able to survive or stay in business. And these price cuts are before Brexit has even hit us”.
"Shocked and appalled"
The Independent TD explained that “There are over 170,000 people employed directly in the agri-food industry and 250,000 people indirectly employed in the wider rural areas in agri-food production. Brexit will be felt across rural Ireland."
"I am shocked and appalled at the lack of urgency and concern this government has shown the beef farmers of Ireland”.
Collins requested for a stand-alone Minister for Agriculture and called on the government to widen the suckler support grant from €40 to €200.
“There is no question that the Mercosur trade deal must be suspended; we need to see that live exports will be supported with more layers and an increase in Ferry capacity” concluded Collins.
Image source: Michael Collins Independent TD \ Facebook