Taskforce meeting date ‘in the hands of the chairman’ – Creed

The possible date for the Beef Market Taskforce to reconvene, after its cancelled first meeting last week, is “in the hands of the chairman”, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

Creed was referring to taskforce chairman Michael Dowling, who the minister said was continuing to engage with stakeholders on when to call the next meeting.

Minister Creed was speaking to AgriLand at the Animal Health Ireland (AHI) 10th anniversary conference in Dublin today, Wednesday, October 23.

The chairman is engaging with all of the constituent members with a view to trying to reconvene at the earliest possible date, but that work is ongoing.

“I have no idea date-wise; I’ve left that in the hands of the chairman. The intention is that it will reconvene as soon as possible,” the minister added.

The first meeting was supposed to be held on Monday of last week, October 14; however, due to a protest outside the headquarters of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – where the meeting was scheduled to take place – chairman Dowling took the decision to postpone the meeting.

The protest was sparked by the fact that a number of injunctions – taken by processors against protesters during the beef dispute – remained in place at the time.

The protest last week saw demonstrators prevent Cormac Healy, senior director of Meat Industry Ireland (MII), from gaining entry to the department’s headquarters for the taskforce meeting.