"Beef talks an opportunity for progress" - Mary Lou McDonald from the Tullamore Show
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has commended the Beef Plan movement and said that tomorrow’s talks represent “an opportunity for progress”.
This week Ms McDonald visited farmers on the picket line in Ballyjamesduff, and she is today attending the Tullamore Show in Co.Offaly.
Speaking from Tullamore the Sinn Féin President said:
“Tomorrow’s talks between farmers and the meat industry represent an opportunity for progress in tackling a problem which has been decades in the making.
“The Beef farmers who went out on the picket over the last number of weeks did not want to be there. They were there because they believed they have no choice, that their livelihoods are under threat and that the family farm model in which they operate will cease to exist unless drastic action is taken.
“The Beef Plan movement has shown great leadership both in highlighting the problems and in suspending the protests to allow room for talks.
“What is now needed is meaningful engagement.
“The Minister for Agriculture must also work with Sinn Féin and others in bringing forward measures that protect our family farms.
"He must ensure that farmers secure fair prices, that anti-competitive practices are tackled, that there is full transparency across the sector and that the EU market is not flooded with cheap beef imports.
"Our farmers, and the rural communities that depend on them, deserve no less.”