With the continuing deterioration in the beef situation, IFA President Eddie Downey said livestock farmers are extremely disappointed and frustrated with the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney. In particular, his failure to tackle and resolve the issues with factories in the Beef Forum around the proper application of the Quality Payment system and specifications, and the lack of progress in removing the roadblocks preventing the live trade to Northern Ireland.
Eddie Downey said the way the factories had torn up the Quality Payment System since last Autumn using dual pricing and unfair specifications to undermine prices and market returns was totally unacceptable. “Minister Coveney must deal with this fundamental issue and have it corrected without any further delay, if his Beef Forum initiative is to have any credibility with farmers. Michael Dowling made it clear at the Beef Forum that the QPS should operate as originally agreed it is now up to the Minister to ensure this happens.”
In addition, the IFA President said the lack of urgency and progress on removing the roadblocks preventing the live trade to Northern Ireland was totally unacceptable. He said, “Michael Dowling has made it clear this is a political issue; Minister Coveney must be much more proactive and focused in resolving this issue”.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said livestock farmers have encountered severe financial losses this spring and can take no more. He said its time Minister Coveney stood up for livestock farmers and restored some confidence back into the sector.