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Minister Coveney took too long to address beef crisis - Martin Ferris TD

5 September, 2014 - by Martin Ferris TD

Following a meeting of beef farmers in Castlerea, Co Roscommon last night on the crisis in the beef industry, Sinn Féin’s Agriculture spokesperson, Martin Ferris TD, said that Minister Simon Coveney and the farm organisations should have acted on this crisis sooner.

Deputy Ferris said:

"The Minister has sat on his hands and allowed the beef barons and the big supermarket chains to call the shots and manipulate the market to the extent that some farmers have been pushed over the edge.

“The factories have abused their power. They have changed specification at will - and so have driven down prices by penalising farmers.

“As far back as last June I was calling for the beef barons to be called to the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture to answer for their actions.  I repeat it now, that I want to see the powerful individuals who control this industry and not their press and publicity executives, their PR people or their image consultants, before the committee,” he said.

“Sinn Féin did all it could to try to resolve the issue of nomad cattle and Minister Michelle O’Neill in the North has been working with Minister Simon Coveney on the labelling issue.

“The crisis in the beef industry is huge and has far reaching consequences. The Minister and the farm organisations must be active to defend farmers, more of whom are becoming vulnerable in the present circumstances.”

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