CLLR SARAH OREILLY: Call for New Beef Regulator to Protect Beef Farmers
As Beef prices fall again Aontú Cllr & Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council Sarah O’Reilly has called for a new Beef Regulator with strong statutory powers to protect Farmers and consumers. She stated;
"Irish beef farmers were back to square one last month, with further cuts in the price of beef of 0.20/kg, this came in the same week that the price of meal increased."
"Quotes of €3.70 - €3.80/kg base price is €0.70 - € 0.80/kg behind the breakeven cost of production which research shows to be €4.50/kg."
“The Irish beef industry is worth €2 billion annually; it is the backbone of the rural economy and employs more than 100,000 farmers."
“As this crisis has escalated and deepened, the Government has failed to take any kind of decisive or corrective action to address price transparency in the food chain and market distortion in the beef industry. The government has refused to implement the Aontú Equitable Beef Price Bill which would ensure that beef could not be purchased at a price below the cost of production”.
"The lack of state control and regulatory authority conveys little fear to meat factories and processors and only serves to nurture an air of invincibility among them."
"The government’s unwillingness to forcefully tackle this issue gives the impression of looking after golden circles, it does not give confidence to beef farmers or indeed, the public."
"An independent regulator with statutory powers and resources should be entrusted with ensuring protection for producers and consumers."
"The last government directed their misguided frustration at the victims of this dispute by suggesting it was beef farmers who were holding the industry to ransom. This cannot be allowed to happen again."
"This latest chapter in our beef industry saga is another reminder of how the industry is rampant with greed and imbalance, by a small number of powerful entities. Beef farmers yet again are being let down by representative organisations, state bodies and policy makers."
"The setting up of an ombudsman, is welcome, but it is not the answer, an ombudsman will only investigate complaints and attempt to resolve conflicts, either by mediation or by making recommendations, decisions are usually not legally binding."
"In my opinion the term food ombudsman is too broad and will not have the teeth needed to tackle irregularities within the beef industry."
"A regulator with statutory powers to impose requirements, conditions or restrictions, set standards for activities, and enforce these standards by obtaining compliance is also what is needed."
"I am calling on the Minister to set up a beef regulator, he himself is on record in the Dáil as calling for one and I agree with him."