Healy: ‘We will continue to take action until a price increase is given’

Additional reporting by Charles O’Donnell in Naas, Co. Kildare

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Joe Healy has this morning said: “We will continue to take action until processors give a significant price increase.”

Commenting on the IFA protest taking place this morning, Thursday, December 5, Healy said: “The supply chain is failing and today, we are blocking it for 12 hours.”

Speaking to AgriLand at the site of the protest this morning, Healy said: “We’re here to send a clear message to the retailers: For them to send out a message to the processors to pass on an immediate price increase to Irish beef farmers.”

Healy expressed his frustration at the beef taskforce meeting, saying: “We went into the beef taskforce meeting last Tuesday and there was no minister, no retailers and Meat Industry Ireland (MII) came in with nothing to offer.

The best they had to offer was that they would go back to the people they represent.

The IFA president said “that was disgraceful; it was an insult to the people who are representing farmers around the table”.

He added: “We were going in there to hear of a price increase that’s all farmers on the ground wanted to hear.

Remember that a price increase is justified because when the beef price index came out two weeks ago, there was a gap of 45c/kg between Ireland and the UK price; that’s 50% of where our beef is going.

“The gap has since opened to 50c/kg.”

Concluding, Healy said: “Irish beef farmers are on their knees; they need a beef price increase and they need it immediately.”