A delegation from the IFA, including IFA President Joe Healy, met with Minister Creed to discuss recent pressure on farmers as a result of beef price cuts.
During talks the delegation stressed the need for a strong response from the government across a range of different issues such as the Budget and beef prices. Joe Healy says that from talks they understand that the focus of the budget will be dealing with the fallout from Brexit.
“No sector has been hit harder by Brexit than cattle farmers who are losing €2m per week because of the sterling weakness. This must be addressed in the Budget.”, said Healy.
They IFA made calls for a €50 on suckler cow payment bolt-on to the BDGP for animal welfare as well as EU support for ongoing Brexit losses on farms.
Angus Woods, National Livestock Chairman, said that Minister Creed agreed with the IFA’s position. The minister also confirmed that the department are seeing support at EU level to advance this case.
Angus Woods also said that Minister Creed reaffirmed his commitment to have Agricultural Officers monitor trim and classification on a daily basis in the factories. He said IFA told the Minister that farmers are very frustrated over the delays in implementing this essential measure.
Angus Woods said IFA raised the need to increase the 30-month age limit currently in place. He said there was no longer justification for the 30-month rule and it was impacting farmers’ ability to sell harder. He added that the Minister should resist this condition being applied in any veterinary certs or retail specifications.
The IFA Livestock Leader also said that Minister Creed accepted that there needs to be more transparency and competition in the beef sector. He continued by adding that a strong live export trade is essential for the livestock sector.
“Minister Creed made it clear he is very committed to supporting the live trade and every market opportunity will be fully pursued.”, he concluded.