“If the Green Party think that live exports will be ended, you will see Dublin brought to a standstill by the farmers of this country,” – those were the words of Michael Fitzmaurice, Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, when he spoke on RTÉ Radio 1 on Thursday, January 15th.
During his interview, he called for support for suckler farmers and the immediate introduction of an environmental scheme.
Speaking about the Beef Market Taskforce, Fitzmaurice said: “We welcome the taskforce, but when you put a taskforce together, it's not four-times-a-year that you should be meeting.”
“In my opinion, if you have a crisis, they need to meet every week. Second of all, it’s not going in for a few hours, going in smiling at each other – you need to get down to the nuts and bolts of it.”
He said there are “a lot” of incentives that can be implemented in the line of a grass-fed system to ensure that Irish beef is promoted around the world.
“While we welcome extra opportunities for selling beef, unfortunately, with every one of these eight or nine new markets that have opened, the farmer is still the price-taker, the farmer is still taking a bad price.”
Michael Fitzmaurice also slammed the €6/tonne carbon tax increase, which contractors will be liable to pay from May 2020.