TD Tóibín to launch bill to ‘ban below-cost selling’ in beef sector

A bill is set to be launched in the Dáil that will look to “ban below-cost selling”, according to TD Peadar Tóibín.

Speaking today, Monday, September 17, at the 2019 National Ploughing Championships, Meath West TD Tóibín said the “beef crisis continues to spiral out of control”.

Tóibín, a member of Aontú – a political party that was formed at the beginning of this year – claimed that the talks over the weekend involving Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and farmer representative groups had “failed”.

Farmers have returned to the pickets, supermarkets are being picketed… The longer this crisis continues, the more damage is done to the meat industry and to farmers around the country.

Tóibín also criticised Minister Michael Creed’s handling of the dispute, and claimed that the talks were “inadequate from the start”.

The TD went on to deride the decision not to involve supermarkets in the talks.

“The beef market is dysfunctional. It is asymmetric. Factories have enormous buyer power while farmers have practically no supplier power,” said Tóibín.

A small number of factories and supermarket multiples are making hundreds of millions of euro of profit on the backs of the poverty and debt of beef farmers. This is unfair and unsustainable and is pushing farmers off the land around the country.

All this is happening “in the teeth of Brexit”, he added.

“We in Aontú are proud to launch our bill to ban below-cost selling in the beef industry on an interim basis,” said Tóibín.

According to the TD, the purpose of the bill is to bring about a “fair distribution of profit”, and to “ensure that we have food security into the future”.

Tóibín is also calling on the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to get involved in addressing imbalances in the sector.