Retail multiples ‘must address requirement for fair margin’ – FF

The attendance of retail multiples must be demanded by Government for talks on “fair” farm margins, according to Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue.

Commenting on ongoing talks being held between Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the Beef Plan Movement, the Department of Agriculture and farm organisations, deputy McConalogue called for “concrete results for farmers” from the process.

“Issues such as: the QPS Grid; movement; age; and weight restrictions on cattle; the two-tier pricing structure; and the need for transparency in the beef supply chain must all be addressed conclusively.”

Continuing, the spokesperson added:

The Government must also immediately demand the attendance of retail multiples at talks to address the requirement for a fair margin for beef farming families.

“Farming families must have the opportunity to recover the cost of production plus a margin for their products.

“As things stand, they are expected to effectively engage in slave labour to support the lion’s share of the consumer price going to highly profitable retail multiples. This situation is totally unacceptable.”

The Donegal TD noted that currently base beef prices are now lower than experienced during the reference period of September to May covered by the Beef Emergency Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme.

Calling for further funding for the industry, the TD added that such monies “should not have unnecessary conditions attached and reflect the market disturbance currently being experienced”.

“We also need to see a plan to increase live exports over the coming months to provide more competition in the market,” deputy McConalogue concluded.