Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the new year must bring about a “substantial new deal” for beef farmers.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed confirmed to him in a parliamentary reply that Irish and UK Retailers have been invited to the next meeting of the Beef Taskforce that is scheduled to take place on January 9th, 2020.
“2019 will go down as one of the most stressful and traumatising years for beef farmers and the beef sector generally – We cannot have a repeat of that in 2020.”
He said that this is why he asked the Minister if representatives from the retail sector will be invited to take part in the deliberations of the Beef Taskforce in the new year.
Retailers ‘benefitting enormously’
Minister Creed confirmed that both Irish and UK retailers have been invited to participate; specifically, to discuss market trends and requirements in relation to the Quality Payment System in-spec bonus criteria.
“I will be urging Minister Creed and indeed the department to adopt a firm approach with the retailers in order to ensure that Irish farmers receive a more just and proportionate share of the profits from their produce.”
“These retailers are benefitting enormously because of the outstanding quality of Irish beef.”
“It is, therefore, entirely unacceptable that those, who work night and day to deliver and grow that produce, are left with a relative pittance or even a loss at the sale end of the process,” concluded Deputy McGrath.