An independent TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to immediately engage with representatives of the Independent Farmers of Ireland to ensure that they form part of any future meetings of the Beef Taskforce.
Mattie McGrath raised the issue during Dáil question time to respond to the Independent Farmers of Ireland requests, after it organised a meeting attended by approximately 600 people in Athlone last week.
“Minister Creed seems to reserve his harshest words for those farmers who continue to protest against the erosion of trust that has been introduced into the establishment of the Beef Taskforce.” The independent TD said.
“Give the beef farmers a living wage so that they and the industry can survive and cut out this codology and this cartel,” McGrath said to Minister Creed.
‘Much stronger line’
Farmers, the TD added, want a much stronger line taken with Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and indeed C & D Foods in Longford who still have injunctions in place.
“When I raised these issues with Minister Creed yesterday, he described the actions of the farmers protesting outside the Department of Agriculture as ‘disgraceful’.” McGrath added.
"The day before that he also accused farmers of engaging in “intimidatory tactics”.
“It is a great pity that the Minister could not find the courage to use similarly strong language against the processors and MII, given that they have effectively destroyed the capacity of beef farmers to maintain a living from their work.”
McGrath said that that the process still being dictated to by the “powerful arms of the meat industry”.
“If the Minister was interested in genuinely engaging with all relevant stakeholders then he would have no problem inviting the Independent Farmers of Ireland to take part in future discussions,” concluded the Deputy.
Image source: Mattie McGrath \ Facebook