The action of the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney in response to the ongoing and escalating beef crisis has been described as disgraceful by Fianna Fáil TD Seamus Kirk.

Deputy Kirk has reiterated Fianna Fáil’s call for the appointment of an independent beef regulator to address many of the issues facing producers that the Government is failing to deal with.

“The collapse in Irish beef prices is putting huge pressure on farm families and producers across the country. This industry is worth €2 billion every year to our economy, over 100,000 farmers are employed in producing beef products and the Government is failing to support them.

“The lack of action from the Government to help producers and ensure fare pricing is disgraceful. Fianna Fáil has consistently highlighted the beef crisis and the need for an independent beef regulator. We believe a regulator should have the power to ensure that a small handful of processors are not allowed to unfairly dominate the market place.”

He said that Ireland needs a code of conduct for retailers. This, he said, would give farmers some certainty and ensure more transparency in the beef industry. The Government should not fear more openness and transparency – in fact it should be encouraging it.

“I am calling on Minister Simon Coveney to finally show leadership in tackling the beef crisis facing producers and to take action to protect the livelihoods of farmers.”