Healy-Rae urges factories to ‘stand together’ with beef farmers

Independent TD for Kerry Danny Healy-Rae has appealed to meat processors to “stick with Irish farmers”, adding that “now is the time to stand together”.

Reacting to the news last week that the ABP food group brought beef from Poland to stock supermarket shelves in the UK, the Kerry TD said:

“I wish to condemn the recent actions of meat factories where they have sourced meat in Poland to supply their customers, at this difficult time when Irish farmers are having severe difficulties in getting cattle into factories; and if they are taken then they are only getting a very bad price for them.

Many farmers are hurt by these actions. I am appealing to the factories in Ireland to stick with the Irish farmers who have been supplying them back over the years.

“Now is the time to stand together,” deputy Healy-Rae concluded.

Panic buying surge

Commenting, a spokesperson for ABP said: “At the end of March, many of our retail customers experienced panic buying, as people prepared to remain at home in response to Covid-19.

“This resulted in an unprecedented increase in demand over a very short period of time and processing capacity was not able to meet the surge in demand,” the representative added.

To ensure that consumers would continue to be served during this national emergency, ABP temporarily supplemented its existing supply chain with European beef, including Poland.

“This product is produced to the same exacting traceability and quality standards as all ABP products.

“This was a temporary measure related to one product which was clearly labelled and was aimed to meet the surge in demand at that time. Supply arrangements are now reverting to normal,” the ABP representative concluded.