“The refusal by MII (Meat Industry Ireland) to attend Monday’s talks has added a new dimension to the current impasse in the current beef crisis” – that’s according to Gerry Loftus, leader of Ireland’s Future.
Meat Industry Ireland announced yesterday (Tuesday, September 10th) that 3,000 workers at beef processing plants have been temporarily laid off, with further closures and layoffs likely in the coming days.
Commenting on the matter, Loftus said: “This will have a direct effect on 80,000 jobs in the agriculture sector as well as devastating effect on farmers who want to offload cattle and sheep.”
“The reality here is MII do not want to solve this problem; the misinformation regarding picket lines and the arrogance shown here is intolerable.”
Loftus said that farmers who took part in pickets have been "blatantly refused to have animals slaughtered".
"MII has given the two-finger sign to Minister Creed and indeed to the economy of this country; this is a typical example of the corporate impact, a corporation holding the country to ransom."
"But which corporation is it ? as it's widely rumoured Larry Goodman is refusing to process offal which leaves factories and successive Governments with egg on their face."
“Why have we allowed one man to control Irish meat processing? It simply boils down to political stupidity and political failure.” Loftus added.
'Complete root and branch investigation'
Loftus is calling for a “complete root and branch investigation” into Irish meat processing; he is of the opinion that this should be conducted by an independent investigator from outside the state.
“Our Government has no problem putting the squeeze on the poorest people in the country to make sure they pay their taxes, but it’s fine for Larry to cream off €170 million in profits - much of it at the expense of farm families.”
“Better again, he pays little tax and away he goes to an investment bank in Denmark with money that belongs to the people of this country.”
“As a member state of the EU, Minister Creed must now look for direction at European level as we are now facing the complete collapse of the entire industry,” Loftus concluded.