Farmer injunctions and missed deadlines ‘must be priorities’ for taskforce

The first thing that the Beef Taskforce will have to do is to address outstanding injunctions against farmers, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

In a statement ahead of the taskforce’s first meeting, scheduled to be held this morning, Monday, October 14, the IFA president Joe Healy outlined that it represented “dozens of farmers” in court and noted that most have had injunctions lifted – but some remain.

These will have to be resolved immediately, the IFA president asserted.

The deadlines set out in the Beef Sector Agreement that have already been missed will also have to be resolved, he added.

Continuing, he said:

The beef sector agreement specifically states that the Beef Price Index would be introduced from September 16. It’s now four weeks later and farmers are still waiting.

“This is to be a key tool ensuring more transparency on meat and offal markets, giving accurate verified information on price trends to keep the factories honest on the base price.

“We need it immediately,” he said.

The president claimed that, while there was a lot of talk about building trust during the talks, the factories “have shown no interest in this”.

The way they have imposed weight limits in recent weeks has frustrated and angered farmers and undermined the in-spec bonus increases in the agreement.

“To try and rebuild trust with farmers, factories will have to fundamentally change their approach,” he said.

Healy and the IFA livestock director Kevin Kinsella will be the IFA representatives to the Beef Taskforce later today.