IFA President Eddie Downey said Minister Coveney must turn his request to the meat factories into a demand, and insist that they respond and honour the agreement they entered into with their farmer suppliers on the Quality Payment System.
He said “Factories have treated farmers very unfairly all year, imposing a raft of age, weight and other specification cuts resulting in feeders taking severe losses. Trust is at an all-time low and action is overdue to address livestock farmer concerns.”
Eddie Downey said “Minister Coveney must realise and accept that beef farmers are in a very difficult income situation and the severe cuts to beef prices have left the sector in an unviable position going forward. This has to change. Teagasc have made it clear beef farmers need a price of at least €4.00/kg just to cover costs and make a small margin.”
The IFA President said Minister Coveney needs to make some real progress in removing the roadblocks impeding the live export trade to Northern Ireland. “IFA has discussed specific proposals with the Department of Agriculture, which could resolve this issue and get the trade going again. The Minister needs to grasp these initiatives and work with all of the parties North and South to deliver a solution on this vital trade,” Downey concluded.