TD warns: Rural Ireland could become ’40 shades of yellow’

Ibec, the umbrella organisation for Meat Industry Ireland (MII), has been urged to directly intervene in the beef dispute by independent TD Denis Naughten.

The consequences of not doing so, he warned, could lead to a change in the typical green scenery of rural Ireland.

The Galway-Roscommon TD called on the industry body to ensure that both it and Retail Ireland, which represents the major supermarkets, “get around the negotiating table before irreparable damage is caused to the beef industry”.

“Walking away from talks and locking the gates as MII has done will not only fail to resolve the current beef price impasse but is likely to lead to farmers leaving the industry altogether, which will have long-term consequences for meat processors,” deputy Naughten warned.

We are at a crossroads in the beef sector with many farmers looking at selling off their stock for good, which will see land abandoned and ragwort and furze bushes taking over, converting rural Ireland into 40 shades of yellow.

“How will the beef processors promote Irish grass-fed beef when they will only be able to bring buyers to either large factory farms or vast swathes of rural Ireland covered in yellow weeds?”

The TD warned that, should this happen, it will have “far-reaching implications” for other Ibec members right across the country.

“I cannot recall a situation where an Ibec member organisation has snubbed the invitation of a cabinet minister to sit down to talks.

“The fact is that this situation can only be resolved around the table and we now need constructive movement from the meat industry and Ibec,” deputy Naughten concluded.