Nolan backs calls for independent beef regulator

Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has written to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, to request an examination of the possibility of establishing an independent beef regulator.

Deputy Nolan was speaking after the Beef Plan Movement reiterated its call for the establishment of such a position.

“While I accept that work is being done in terms of the creation of a National Food Ombudsman, I do think that there is a parallel need to consider the establishment of a dedicated and independent regulator specifically for the beef sector,” deputy Nolan said.

Deputy Carol Nolan

“At the very least, the idea should be considered for debate given the scale and value of the beef industry here and the new and emerging international trading environment, with the likes of the Mercosur trade deal still casting its shadow on Irish farming.”

Transparency needed

The independent deputy added that even at local level, more transparency is needed within the factory pricing system.

She said there is a lack of transparency “despite government handing over almost one hundred thousand euro to Grant Thornton for its reports on the matter”.

We have also seen a sudden and unjustifiable drop in beef prices in the last week and that is causing huge levels of frustration among farmers who can see with their own eyes that demand, especially among supermarkets, is still exceptionally high.

“It is highly unlikely that the proposed office of the National Food Ombudsman will be able to effectively tackle these kind of systemic problems and that is another reason why a separate and independent beef regulator would be of value to all concerned,” concluded deputy Nolan.