‘I would appeal to the meat factories: Just go and fix this’

Meat factories are being urged to “pay farmers properly” and to “understand the crisis” farmers are in by Michael Hoey, managing director of agri-food company Country Crest.

Speaking to AgriLand during our live coverage of the 2019 National Ploughing Championships, Hoey observed: “It’s a very sad situation we’re in at the minute.”

Highlighting the rising costs in beef farming and the measures that farmers are required to comply with, Hoey argued: “I don’t believe any farmer wants to be on the picket line – they’re in a desperate situation.

I think its ridiculous, first of all, that people go in to negotiate things, and they can’t talk about the price, when the price is the real issue that is out there.

“It’s the base price that is the problem, and if the primary producer can’t get enough money to produce that product and to make a living from it, how can they continue to do it?” he asked.

He continued: “The meat industry is being very unfair. They need to understand that their living is coming from the primary producer out there. They need to understand the crisis that [the farmers] are in at the minute.”

Hoey addressed this issue in the video below, in which he also chats about how, despite some setbacks, Country Crest has grown into “a successful agri-food business”.

“[Processors] need to pay [farmers] properly, and then move on with this because if it’s not fixed it’s just getting worse and worse. All the trust is going away from everybody,” Hoey added.

I would appeal to the meat factory owners out there: Just go and fix this. Please go and fix it, and pay people a proper price for what they’re doing.

“Bonuses and all those things are great, if you have the base price proper, and that needs to be fixed,” he stressed.

“It’s a very sad situation that we are at this crossroads again in the meat industry, and it needs to be fixed, and it can be fixed,” Hoey concluded.