Fitzmaurice urges Creed to reconvene beef crisis talks tomorrow

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice is asking the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to reconvene the second round of beef talks tomorrow afternoon, Friday, September 6 – instead of next Monday.

The Roscommon-Galway representative is also encouraging TDs from all parties to lobby the minister to restart the talks as he says there is “need to act while the iron is hot”.

“Minister Creed has a window of opportunity to resolve the current beef crisis over the weekend if he moves to set up talks on Friday afternoon.

“The beef crisis has entered a fast-moving phase and there appears to be a real will to resolve it across all sides.

The Minister for Agriculture should, instead of waiting until Monday, strike whilst the iron is hot and convene these talks.

“It has already been stated by the chairperson of the Agriculture Committee yesterday that the minister has the retailers on board,” he said.

According to Fitzmaurice, several TDs have also been informed of the willingness of meat-factory owners and representatives, who are individually willing to attend talks immediately.

It is also understood that the various farm organisations are willing to attend talks when they are called.

“It is imperative we respond swiftly to this mood for resolution.

“The farming community, especially the beef sector, which is in such dire straits at the moment, in my view would welcome the different parties getting around the table immediately to find a resolution that will create a sustainable future for their industry.

“This represents a real opportunity for Minister Creed to end a dispute which has placed many family farms at risk of wipe-out because of the current unsustainable prices.

Once again, I would encourage all politicians to encourage the minister to bring forward these talks to Friday evening. There is no time to lose.

He added: “If, given the short notice or through unforeseen circumstances, an intermediary/facilitator is unavailable an acceptable person to all parties should be secured by the minister or he should make himself available.”