Minister McConalogue opens 4th meeting of beef taskforce

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has opened the fourth meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce today (Wednesday, September 23).

The taskforce was established on foot of the agreement of September 15, 2019, and is charged with monitoring the implementation of the actions under the agreement.

The meeting brings together representatives from the main farming organisations, as well as representatives from Meat Industry Ireland (MII), Bord Bia and department officials.

Minister McConalogue thanked the members of the beef taskforce for their work over the past year.

Threat of Brexit

The minister reflected on the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic for the sector, as well as the real threat posed to the sector by the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, which he says the government is working hard to avoid.

Minister McConalogue said:

Constructive and meaningful engagement across this group is essential to maintaining the sector in this difficult time, and developing the sector in a sustainable way which adds value at all stages of the supply chain, but particularly for the primary producer.

“I believe that we can collectively rise to the many challenges facing us. I look forward to seeing continuous, strong engagement from this group as its work progresses,” he concluded.

Taskforce agenda

The agenda for the fourth meeting of the beef taskforce, chaired by independent chair Michael Dowling, included the draft application for protected geographical indication (PGI) status for Irish grass-fed beef and progress on the market transparency studies being conducted for the taskforce by Grant Thornton.

Members were briefed on the current market situation and the role of beef producer organisations in the sector.