Irish farmers must now push for a complete overhaul of Irish agriculture, and “bury this industrialised business-led model, that’s creaming off millions, at the expense of family farms”, according to Gerry Loftus – leader of Ireland’s Future.
“This rip-off cannot be allowed to continue, and now is the time to demand change,” he stressed.
Ireland's Future's leader believes that cattle farmers must "take back control" and demand that the Government make funds available to establish a farmer-controlled offal processing plant in place, followed by farmer-owned, farmer-run, meat processing plants.
“Larry Goodman has complete control of offal, meaning he has complete control of beef processing,” Loftus said.
“Figures published last week by media shows one factory making record profits of €3.12million in one year, and nine Goodman companies made largely untaxed profits of €170 million in one year.”
"This is just one operator - there are many others creaming it at the expense of Irish family farms. Farmers must now stand up and demand change.
Base price for QA and non-QA cattle
To resolve the current crisis, Loftus firmly that price must be on the table, highlighting “there is no other way”.
“Legislation is required to change competition law and a base price must be set for quality and non-quality assured cattle.”
“This can only be done after scientific research determines the exact cost of production, and it must be reviewed annually, to take account of inflation.”
“Paying a bonus without a base price in place means absolutely nothing, and it’s not what we should be doing.”
Instead, said Loftus, the bonus should be paid based on the retail price of beef in the country it is exported to. “This system would provide a much fairer share of the profits back to farmers,” he concluded.