Beef Industry Review: July
By Claire Mc Cormack and Niall Claffey
Oh my, my, my, my, July…
Just days after the EU-Mercosur bombshell, beef price hit another low – down 5c/kg.
All eyes, and boots, turned to Leinster House – this time under a new banner, Beef Plan Movement (BPM).
Thousands of farmers and rural dwellers descended on Kildare Street in a mass rally opposing the so-called “attack” on Ireland’s family-farm model – as outrage over the draft EU-Mercosur trade deal also loomed large.
The protesters piled hundreds of wellington boots at the gates of Dáil Eireann in a symbol of solidarity.
Their message: “No longer needed.”
The attack strengthened…
The antagonist: The Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC).
A damning CCAC report recommended that Ireland should reduce its bovine numbers – specifically its suckler cow herd – as part of the country’s duty to tackle carbon emissions.
BPM was on the move again. A protest was organised outside the Aurivo Dairy Ingredients plant in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon – where Minister Creed was due to open a new dryer facility.
However, before he arrived he was met with a whirlwind of fired-up and fed-up farmers – just a flavour of things to come…
At 6:00am on Monday, July 29, the horse bolted.
BPM – with a then claimed membership of around 20,000 farmers – officially began its nationwide protest campaign at factory gates.
It started at: Kepak Kilbeggan; Kepak Athleague; Liffey Meats Ballinasloe; ABP Bandon; Dawn Meats Ballyhaunis; and Dawn Meats Rathdowney.
They came in their hundreds; they walked in circles; they expanded like the Irish dairy herd…
Beef price falls amidst protests.
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) also flexed its muscles. The farm lobby group held a protest outside the EU Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) in Grange, Co. Meath, calling for Mercosur-sourced “substandard beef imports” to be halted.
And the hits kept coming…
Throughout the month of July, farmer fears intensified as prices crumbled ahead of fast-approaching autumn weanling sales.