There is a “serious risk” that the Beef Market Taskforce will become “a talking shop” according to the national livestock chairperson of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).
Angus Woods, who is also a candidate at the ongoing IFA presidential election, argued that there may be a “lack of focus” at the meeting – the first meeting of which is set to take place tomorrow, Tuesday, December 3 – with “multiple voices demanding action on too many issues”.
“Farmers will not tolerate the Beef Market Taskforce turning into another talking shop. The taskforce must deliver real results on cattle price and market transparency to quell farmer anger,” Woods commented.
Farmers are angry at low prices and the failure of factories to increase the prices they are paying farmers, despite a significant strengthening of prices in international markets for beef and other meat proteins.
“With an overhang of stock numbers on farms, factories have the opportunity to exploit the pressure that farmers are under,” Woods warned.
The IFA national livestock chairperson went on: “There is a serious risk that the Beef Market Taskforce will become another talking shop with multiple voices demanding action on too many issues and a lack of focus on the core issues of price and market transparency.”
Woods concluded that farmers “need to see an immediate price increase and results on a focused range of issues that deliver concrete progress on issues to farmers”.
The Beef Market Taskforce is set to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, December 3, seven weeks and a day since it was due to first meet on Monday, October 14.
Following a protest at Agriculture House – the headquarters of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – that meeting was postponed.
Tomorrow’s meeting will be the first since that postponement.