The long-awaited next meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce is planned to take place at the end of this month (June) according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

Minister Creed made the announcement today, Friday, June 12, after announcing a €50 million support scheme for beef finishers in light of the impact of Covid-19.

It is planned that the meeting will take place via video conference, due to current restrictions.

The last meeting of the taskforce – which was its second meeting – took place in early January. There were provisional plans to hold the third meeting in late March, though Covid-19 scuppered these plans.

However, calls have continued to mount since then to get the taskforce to meet via video conference.

Last month, the chairperson of the taskforce provided an update on the work being carried out while plans for meetings were on hold.

Michael Dowling had outlined to the stakeholders involved in the taskforce that it had not been possible to convene a meeting of the taskforce due to Covid-19.

However, while noting the significant changes of recent months, he added:

Work on all the taskforce actions continues in this new context.

Dowling had provided members with a number of documents, including: an updated taskforce report; a progress report from Grant Thornton on the three transparency studies; a market update from Bord Bia; and an update from the Department of Agriculture on the Covid-19 situation as it relates to the sector.

The chairman had said: “I am aware that the priority for all over this last number of months has been to safeguard their health and in as far as possible to maintain their operations in the context of the need for rapid adaptation in uncertainty.

“It is perhaps more important than ever that we continue to work together towards the development of a sector which is as robust as possible in the face of crises such as the one we currently find ourselves in.

While it is evident that the timelines for a number of the actions will need to be revised in the context of the ongoing crisis, it is essential that we continue to drive our collective efforts to work together to ensure that the sector develops in a sustainable robust way.

The chairman said at the time that he looked forward “to being able to convene a meeting of the beef taskforce as soon as is practical”.