Taskforce rep calls for Bord Bia CEO to attend meeting on market situation

A delegate on the Beef Market Taskforce has called on Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy to attend a meeting of the taskforce to explain “how Bord Bia missed the pulse on the ground and the market”, following recent reductions in cattle prices.

Dermot O’Brien, who is one of the official representatives on the taskforce for the Beef Plan Movement (the other being Enda Fingleton) said earlier this week that the meat industry “imposed a unilateral reduction in prices paid to farmers without notice, explanation or justification”.

He argued that McCarthy should “come forward with a statement to explain how this sudden reduction in price was detected, flagged or notified by Bord Bia”.

The primary function of Bord Bia is to promote and market Irish produce. Vast quantities of money are spent by Bord Bia on market trends and consumer trends across all of our export markets for beef.

“We are told by Bord Bia that they have a strong foothold in the UK market and that their grass-fed TV advertising campaign across the UK had raised the profile of Irish beef and was going to yield dividends.”

O’ Brien continued: “We now require Bord Bia to explain what has happened in a chronological and detailed format, so that Irish taxpayers, TDs and primary producers can be briefed and informed as to what has justified the price cuts by meat factories to farmers.

The silence from Meat Industry Ireland [MII] is deafening.

He argued that Bord Bia “works hand in glove” with processors with regard to market access, and claimed that, as CEO of Bord Bia, McCarthy is “ultimately responsible for this situation”.

O’Brien called for the taskforce to be convened and for McCarthy to attend “to explain to the stakeholders how Bord Bia has missed the pulse on the ground and in the market to cause this unilateral reduction in price”.