Agriculture committee to consider beef industry crisis

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine will today hear from a range of beef industry stakeholders to consider the current crisis in bull beef production.

Representatives from the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association, the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association will commence proceedings. This will be followed by engagement with representatives from the Irish Cooperative Organisation Society on how the barriers to the live cattle trade with Northern Ireland can be surmounted.

Concluding the wide-ranging series of discussions, representatives from Ibec’s Meat Industry Ireland will address the Committee on their perspectives on the challenges facing the industry.

Committee Chairman Andrew Doyle commented: “Since the end of 2013, factory prices for bull beef have fallen dramatically, placing considerable financial pain on farm families engaged in the sector.

“As a committee, we are keen to engage proactively with a wide range of stakeholders tomorrow, including producer and processor representatives, to assess what policy steps are necessary to bolster the industry. Acutely aware of the need to explore all alternatives, the committee will discuss with ICOS how the obstacles hindering live cattle trade on a North/South basis can be overcome.”