Farmers’ fury from the floor in Navan

IFA President Eddie Downey did not have the full support of IFA members behind him at last night's meeting, unlike earlier at this protest.
IFA President Eddie Downey did not have the full support of members at last night’s meeting, unlike earlier at this protest.

There were numerous questions from the floor at the IFA beef meeting in Navan last night. However, very few were specifically answered. Here’s a selection of the main points being made from the floor.

  1. Factories are incapable of exporting the cattle we are producing. I think it should be 600,000 sent as live exports.
  2. Beef is down 60/70c/kg since this time last year. The beef price to the consumer has risen, where has that money gone?
  3. Why is there pressure on price in Ireland today?
  4. There is a feeling out there the low price cuts are being suppled by Ireland.
  5. We are branding beef, but do we know a brand and until we have a brand that is recognisable, not just Europe wide but globally, then we have a brand. We have a half brand. The situation at the moment is suiting processors and retailers but is to the detriment of the farmer.
  6. There is a huge processing monopoly. Why is this not being tackled? There is a ship in Waterford that can’t get off the ground as someone in the Department can’t get it (the paperwork) signed off.
  7. Why is the IFA still getting the factories to collect its levies?
  8. Bord Bia should not get a clap on the back for a 1c above the European average price for a premium product. We have a drystock and suckler sector that is on its knees and unless the factories realise this there will be no beef industry.
  9. I blame Bord Bia for this. They have asked us to produce top quality cattle and to move away from grass fed cattle. That’s not possible. The QA has cost us farmers money and if Bord Bia don’t get their act together and sort this out and they will take us out of business.
  10. Every beef farmer here is losing money. Do you expect us to keep working if you won’t give us a viable price for our beef?
  11. What percentage of beef is getting the QA and why can’t it be increase to 36 months?

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