Pat Rooney, national chairman of the Beef Plan Movement has declared that the food production supply chain must be protected at all costs.
He believes this global pandemic will lead to a global depression which our governments and our citizens must prepare for.
In a statement, the national chairman highlighted the impact of restaurants and fast food chains closing their doors but said, while people will have to learn to eat elsewhere, they will still have to eat.
“These closures are going to have an impact on the food supply chain. However, we must remember that no McDonalds facility consumes burgers, this food was consumed by citizens in Ireland, the UK and all our European neighbours, the closing of these doors does not affect that hunger, people will have to eat. “
“The challenge now is for people to learn to cook again at home. Make your own burger. This meat must be made available for the consumers of the world to prepare in order to satisfy their needs and to meet their hunger. The burger plants must stay open to deliver these burgers on to the shelves of our butchers and our retailers.”
Rooney believes that if burgers are made available on the shelves of retailers at a similar price to theta charged by the fast-food chains, it would encourage more people to buy Irish beef, especially with a lot of people losing jobs during this time.
“If these burgers were supplied on retail shelves at the price supplied to McDonald’s, this would bring some value and thrift to the consumers of Europe, who may find themselves jobless and with reduced incomes. This supply of a high-quality protein source at the same value, which McDonald’s enjoyed, would help ensure a staple diet requirement for the citizens of Europe.”
“Our meat industry processors should grab the opportunity to step up to the mark and provide leadership in our national emergency and ensure that our beef producers remain sustainable, to ensure that the consumers of Europe, whom we have supplied burgers to through the McDonalds franchise, do not go without a valuable meat protein source.”
The farm organisation acknowledged the efforts of all retail outlets across the country: “We thank them for supporting our communities and their suppliers. We call on all retailers to now consider supporting our primary producers, who are now appearing at the bottom end of price cuts.”
He then pleaded to the citizens of Europe to continue supporting Irish beef during these difficult times. “We ask the citizens of Europe to remain loyal to their burger consumption, to ensure that there will be no threat to the viability and sustainability of meat production throughout Europe.”
“At this time, the farmers of Ireland, UK and Europe will endeavour that the food production requirements for all of our people will be maintained in these difficult times.”
“We, the farmers of Ireland stand with you all. To play our part and to flatten Covid-19. We pledge our knowledge and our labour, to produce the food required. We also pledge our machinery and our expertise to manage a spraying and disinfection programme for our towns and cities when the time comes. We will work with public health advice to rid our nation of Covid-19.”
“Success is not final, failure is not the end, determination to keep going is what is required of our nation now,” Rooney concluded.