Beef Factories Drop Prices in the Middle of the Crisis - Gov must Step in
Aontú Cllr Sarah O’Reilly calls on the Irish government to protect the Irish farming sector.
Aontú Cllr Sarah O’Reilly
With the closure of livestock Marts nationally, farmers will have to carry extra livestock for longer creating an additional burden on farmer’s resources. It’s a busy time of year with spring lamb and dairy calves ready for sale to the market. It really is not easy to find an alternative secure way of selling their animals – I know the Marts are working on it to the best of their ability.
Its shocking this week to see processing plants have dropped the base price for heifers and steers by 10 cent a kilo. They have also introduced weight restrictions for steers over 400 kilos – without prior notice. This contravenes an agreement made with farmers last September and it deducts a further 10 cents a kilo from the price. The Minister needs to call the processors into line – there is an onus on factories to steady the market.
Farmers are primary food producers – people must realise now they are so important to the supply of food – we need them now, more than ever: everyone needs to eat, and family farms must be supported.
Farmers are considered self-employed. To qualify for the COVID-19 payment, an applicant must either have the virus or had to close their business. Farmers can’t close their businesses, they must continue to look after their animals and land – they need protective measures put in place immediately.
Farmers have been the fall guys for too many pressure groups for too long. Minister Creed needs to lead from the front and insist that the EU suspends all imported beef into Europe to stabilise the market. Funding and a financial package must be established as quickly as possible.