Beef sector report needs Government Action – Senator Rose Conway-Walsh
Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has said that the publication of a report on the future of the beef industry today needs to be followed up by action on the key points identified in the plan.
As a member of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Conway-Walsh was present for the launch of The Future of the Beef Sector in the context of Food Wise 2025.
Senator Walsh said;
“The report identifies the proposed Mercosur deal as a specific threat to the Irish beef industry. I am calling today for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to withdraw Irish support at EU Commission level. We already know that the European Commission is willing to offer a tariff free quota of 99,000 tonnes of Brazilian beef per year into the EU.
“We know that other sectors are at risk too, including poultry. We know that there is nothing positive for Ireland in this deal, that it is being pursued in the interests of German car manufactures – why then is our government playing with words rather than stopping this deal?
“The planned Brexit beef fund also remains unclear. Today’s report spells out the dangers of Brexit, deal or no deal. The €100 million beef package was well advertised before the election to cover the income losses that beef farmers have incurred, or may incur, because of Brexit.
“We have now learned that the €50 million from the EU is on the basis that the beef sector will be restructured. This has caused much concern for farmers all over the country but particularly those in the west of Ireland who are dependent on suckler cows.
“We need certainty on exactly how much will be made available, what conditions will be attached and if savings will have to be found in other areas of agriculture spending. While I welcome today’s report, it merely highlights the work that is still needed to be done at a political level and clarity provided to the many farming families worried by the many points identified in the report.”