Beef Farmers have a right to protest for a fair price - Brian Stanley TD
Sinn Féin Agriculture and Food spokesperson Brian Stanley TD has called for beef farmers to be given a fair price for their produce as figures from the Beef Price Index reveal that Irish prices are 50c/kg behind the UK price.
Deputy Stanley was speaking following news that the IFA protests continue outside retailer and distribution centres.
Speaking this morning, Deputy Stanley said:
“First of all, Sinn Féin welcomes the fact that the Beef Taskforce is up and running. We also welcome the fact that all of the injunctions have been lifted.
“However, what beef farmers need to see now is an increase in their base price per kg as that has not yet happened.
“The Beef Price Index is indicating that Irish prices are 20c/kg behind the EU average (€80 per animal) and 50c/kg behind UK prices (€180 per animal).
“20c/kg is the difference between an Irish beef farmer making a living out of this industry or closing down.
“Considering the superior quality of Irish beef produce these price discrepancies point to margin manipulation by both the factories and by retailers.
“Retailers and factories have run the beef sector like a cartel for decades now and it must be put to an end.
“To their credit, Aldi has met with the Beef Plan Movement and with the ICSA in recent weeks and spoke of making progress with regards to the 30-month upper age limit and the four-movement rule.
“However, what Aldi and Tesco need to do is to demand of processors that they give a fair price to farmers.
“The difficulty right now is that we have no transparency whatsoever throughout the supply chain as to who is receiving a fair price and who is being ripped off.
“That is why in September, Sinn Féin introduced the Beef Price Transparency Bill 2019 to provide such transparency to not only farmers but for consumers too.
“I’m calling on both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to get off the fence and to support our legislation to give farmers a level playing field.”