We must move away from cartel-like beef sector - Brian Stanley TD
Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson Brian Stanley TD has called for an end to the current cartel-like manner in which the beef sector is being run by a small group of very powerful processors.
Deputy Stanley was speaking following the recent news that a number of protests have been brought to an end and outlined that regardless of whether the current deal is fully accepted there still remains a large job at hand to reform how processors manipulate the beef sector.
Speaking earlier this afternoon, Deputy Stanley said:
“We’ve heard news that protesters at Slane and Dawn meats have stood down. That was a decision for the farmers outside those factories.
“There do remain, however, a number of pickets outside other factory gates and again that decision to continue to picket is a matter for those farmers.
“Regardless, however, of whether or not the current deal on the table is accepted by all farmers, there will still remain a very important job for legislators in the Dáil to reform the beef sector.
“It is unacceptable that for two decades now, the beef sector has been allowed to function in such a cartel-like manner by a small group of very powerful processors and that has to end.
“First of all we need to pass legislation which mandates processors to report to the Minister on a daily basis what they are paying for cattle and what price they are then receiving from retailers.
“This will achieve two things; first of all it will highlight just how small a margin the farmer is currently making and secondly it will allow trust to build between the farmer and the factory as move forward.
“Sinn Féin have a Bill to achieve such transparency entitled “The Beef Price Transparency Bill 2019” and we hope that all parties in the Dáil will support that legislation.
“Secondly, we need to provide the financial and the technical support required to Independent Farmers of Ireland and any other group which wishes collectivise farmers through a Producer Organisation (PO).
“Farmers, particularly small and medium sized farmers, understand that they are stronger when they negotiate on a united front with processors and we must support them in that endeavour.”