Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has stated:
“The Beef Sector is still in crisis. Despite a summer of factory gate protests farmers were still forced to protest in Dublin today because little has changed when it comes to price. The longer this crisis continues the more damage is done to the meat industry and to the farmers around the country.
“The beef market is distorted and dysfunctional. It’s asymmetric. Factories have enormous buyer power while farmers have practically no supplier power. A small number of factories and supermarket multiples are making hundreds of millions of euro of profit on the backs of the poverty and debt of Beef Farmers.
“This is unfair and unsustainable and is pushing farmers off the land around the country. All this is happening in the teeth of Brexit and government plans to ratchet up imports in bargain base beef from Brazil.
“We in Aontú want to ensure that there is a fair distribution of profit within the beef supply chain. We want to see an industry where all components are successful. We want to ensure that we have food security into the future. We also want to see a rural Ireland that’s alive and prospering.
“We have introduced an interim time limited Ban on Below Cost Selling in the Beef industry. We welcome that it has received the support of the Beef Plan and the Independent Farmers. Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have also pledged their support.
“We are also writing to the Competition and Consumer Authority to request steps to introduce long term competitive balance into the beef industry. We are calling on the government to provide supports to farmers to develop Producers Groups which are the ultimate solution in this sector.
“The Bill can be found here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2019/79/.”