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‘Free the farmer from beholding to greedy processors’

Fianna Fáil TD Anne Rabbitte has out at Meat Industry Ireland (MII). 

She said that if she was to stay silent on the matter, she “would be condoning the actions of Meat Industry Ireland”. 

Tesco

The TD was responded to a recent statement from Tesco Ireland commercial Director, Joe Manning, which read: “These are unprecedented times for everyone and it makes sense to honour the market conditions for beef as they were pre-Covid-19 in January of this year.”

“Beef farmers, as a very busy and critical essential service at this time, need to be supported.”

“We want to support our beef farming families by continuing to pay the same price to our processors for the next three months, as it has been since the start of 2020 when Covid-19 wasn’t a factor.”

Pre-covid prices

The East Galway TD took to Twitter to respond to this statement, saying: “One of their major purchasers are going to hold and backdate their price to pre-Covid-19, but in the same breath they are going to cut the back of the primary producer with price cuts.”

“You see the decent thing would be for MII to reach out to their retailers and reach a similar understanding of that of Tesco, with the likes of SuperValu, Aldi, Lidl, whom we all know valves the role of the primary producer. Whether you’re Beef Plan or IFA.”

“During Covid-19 – we mind our own, we protect our own and we respect the role of all and in this case the farmer, the primary producer.”

“The last thing any person or company is doing is trying to make a euro at the cost of a fellow citizen in the middle of a pandemic,” she added. 

Independent butchers

Rabbitte went on to suggest that it might be time to revert to independent butchers and “free the farmers” from Meat Industry Ireland.

“We need to remember the farmer feeds us all. We need to protect the food supply chain! MII – it’s a helping hand that’s required, not a nail in the coffin, but perhaps more independent craft butchers are required.”

“Perhaps, it is time to sanction the PGI status and free the farmer from beholding to greedy processors. Covid 19 should have taught us we need to simplify everything bring everything back to basics and value our grass-fed Irish beef and lamb.”

“When a label produced in Ireland goes on it, that does not mean packaged but born, bred, fed and slaughtered in Ireland. We need to value and remember the farmer feeds us all.

“Bord Bia – perhaps now you might provide me with the FOI that I looked for,” she concluded.

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