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Minister must step up to the plate and resolve Beef Crisis – Carthy

11 November, 2014 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Speaking today as the protest of Beef Farmers across the country comes to an end, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Constituency, Matt Carthy has said that the Minister for Agriculture must now take urgent action to resolve outstanding issues.

Carthy said:

“I have been disappointed with the role played by the Minister for Agriculture in this crisis to date. The Minister has taken a passive role in these negotiations and has not taken the decisive action required to address the concerns of farmers.

“Farmers have become increasingly angry and frustrated at the lack of response on this issue as no clear explanation has been given for the massive price differential between British and Irish beef, considering that demand for Irish beef products remains high in Britain, our largest export market, with a 20% increase this year alone.

“There is a clear breakdown of trust between farmers and meat processors over a range of issues, including weight, specification and price with many farmers firmly of the view that profits are being siphoned off somewhere along the supply chain to the detriment of both farmers and consumers.

“There needs to be greater transparency from the meat processors in their dealings with farmers if there is to be a breakthrough on this issue and the Minister must take action to protect the interests of Irish Farmers by insisting on transparency, accountability and fairness.

“While I welcome the confirmation that further talks will take place tomorrow between relevant stakeholders, the Minister must now step up to the plate and take the required action to ensure that Irish Farmers get a fair deal.” 

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