Cautious welcome for 'progress' in Beef Forum talks – Ní Riada
Speaking from Brussels this morning, Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada gave a cautious welcome to the agreements reached overnight at the Beef Forum talks held in Kildare. She added that despite 'movement in the right direction' on specifications and penalties, the issue of price had yet to be addressed.
Ní Riada said:
“I welcome the progress made last night, and that the beef factories have agreed in the short term to lift their weight limits on all cattle, and I note that there will be a review of movement restrictions and residency periods.
“The issue of price still remains however, and most farmers are still forced to sell their cattle below cost. The agreements reached last night mark a positive step in the right direction, but there is much that still needs to be addressed.
“Our rural communities depend upon a thriving agricultural sector. We need to ensure that farming is a worthshile enterprise if we wish to maintain and develop sustainable rural communities.”
“Sinn Féin is committed to standing up for Ireland's rural communities. Martin Ferris TD has raised the issue of beef prices with Minister Coveney over the last few months, and together with the Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister in the North, Michelle O'Neill he has worked to ease regulations on labelling of cattle moved between jurisdictions.
“In Europe my colleague Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has been stood up for Irish farmers on the Agriculture Committee in Brussels, and I am fighting hard to find a solution to the LEADER debacle, to ensure continued and sustainable local development for rural areas.”