Commenting on the unfair prices received by farmers from the major players in the beef industry, an Aontú leader and Teachta Dála Peadar Tóibín stated:

“Beef farmers constitute the main stakeholders in the Irish beef producing industry. Paying farmers a rate for their produce which is below the production costs, while the processing industry continues showing substantial profits, is economically unjust.

“The unchallenged power of meat processors and supermarkets is causing damage to our agricultural sector, leading to fewer and fewer farmers, which is damaging Ireland’s ability to be self-sufficient in food supply.

“The absence of government support for beef farmers, combined with the disastrous EU-Mercosur trade deal, negotiated by Fine Gael’s European Commissioner Phil Hogan, it is clear that economic justice for ordinary Irish people, including farmers, is far from what the government is pursuing.

“Economic justice demands government intervention in the beef sector. Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed needs to take his job seriously and by act as an arbitrator in the current dispute. If necessary, state supports should be withheld from the dominant beef processing sector.”

“That beef farmers have to cancel public meetings due to injunctions being taken out against them by beef producers is also wrong. The beef market is dangerously imbalanced in Ireland. Massive buyer power is concentrated in the hands of a few small processors and supermarkets and weak supplier power is scattered among thousands of small farmers. The government must address this imbalance now.”