No effort is being spared in attempting to make progress on the current situation in the beef sector at present – both overt and “behind the scenes”, according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

Speaking to AgriLand at the launch of the 2019 National Ploughing Championships earlier today, Wednesday, September 4, the minister said:

“There’s a lot of effort going on and there are things that are being communicated by megaphone and there are things that are going on behind the scenes – and you’ll forgive me if I don’t comment in detail about those.

But I want to assure you and your readers that no effort is being spared by I or the officials in my department to try and bring about a situation where the meat plants move away from the courts.

The minister stressed that the matter will not be solved in the High Court, adding that round-table discussions are the best course of action.

“As you will appreciate, there’s a lot of organisations; there’s a lot of individuals; there’s a lot of representative bodies that we’re trying to engineer into a situation where those talks can begin.”

‘Cloud hanging over farming community’

Later in his address at the official launch of ‘Ploughing 2019’, Minister Creed expanded on this, adding:

“I’m very conscious as we gather here today that there is a significant cloud hanging over the farming community at the moment, on the beef sector.

“The only thing I want to say, apart from reassuring everybody here and those who may hear these words, that we are doing everything – I personally and my department – to try and reach a situation where we can get back around the table to discuss these matters.

The crisis in the beef industry will not be resolved in the High Court; it will not be resolved in the picket lines.

“We do need to get to a situation where there is a compromise on both sides to get back around the table.

“I assure you that every effort is being made by myself and by my department officials to reach out to all of the many organisations and individuals and representative bodies to get us to a situation where we can have those talks and hopefully reach a successful conclusion,” Minister Creed said.