Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the Beef Forum, IFA President Joe Healy said the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed must insist that the factories stop using the Brexit outcome to unfairly cut beef prices and undermine confidence in the market. He strongly criticised the meat factories for overhyping the Brexit result in their rush to pull cattle prices.
At a meeting of the IFA Executive Council yesterday, which was attended by the Minister, Joe Healy said the Minister needs to outline the beef sector’s strategy on Brexit, which cannot be based on factory price cuts.
“The Government must lead the national response on Brexit. The UK is our largest and most valuable beef export market. We need a very clear action plan around utilising our strengths on our unique Origin Green programme and Quality Assurance standards at retail and food service level. We need a strong initiative in the market to maintain and build on the positive long-term relationships established over the last 20 years.”
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods told Minister Creed that the Forum needs to address the ability of the factories and markets to handle increased numbers at viable prices for farmers. He said some of the recent communications and actions are sending all of the wrong signals.
Minister Creed told the IFA meeting there must be a fair return from the market on beef. He said “We need to work together in the Beef Forum to get the best return for primary producers, as without viable beef farmers there can be no industry”.