Downey con­demns fac­tory price cuts

Irish Independent - Farming - - Front Page - Dar­ragh McCullough

THE IFA has chal­lenged the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Si­mon Coveney, to stand up to the meat fac­to­ries, fol­low­ing the lat­ter's de­ci­sion to change the weight lim­its on prime cat­tle last week.

“Hav­ing strongly de­fended the fac­to­ries this time last year (dur­ing the horse­meat cri­sis), it is in­cred­i­ble that the fac tories will not work with Min­is­ter Coveney to re­store con­fi­dence in the beef sec­tor,” said IFA pres­i­dent Ed­die Downey.

He claimed that the additional down­ward price pres­sure im­posed by pro­ces­sors on prime cat­tle so soon af­ter their meet­ing with Min­is­ter Coveney showed a “clear dis­re­gard” for the Min­is­ter.

Round ta­ble dis­cus­sions on beef and sheep mar­kets were held be­tween the IFA, the NFU and the Ul­ster Farm­ers Union (UFU) last week, where con­cerns over beef prices and pro­ducer con­fi­dence were raised.

Speak­ing af­ter the meet­ing, IFA sheep chair­man John Lynskey said that it was a very “worth­while meet­ing”.

“Clearly di­a­logue be­tween our or­gan­i­sa­tions and our live­stock sec­tors is vi­tal as we look for so­lu­tions to shared chal­lenges,” he said.

How­ever, Farm­ers For Ac­tion (FFA) spokesman, Wil­liam Tay­lor, said that the IFA had put the cart be­fore the horse. “There is lit­tle point in our farm lead­ers head­ing over to Bri­tain to dis­cuss beef prices be­fore they get the sit­u­a­tion on their own doorstep sorted first,” he said.

Mr Tay­lor said that he still has re­ceived no re­sponse to his let­ter to IFA pres­i­dent Ed­die Downey look­ing for an all-is­land ap­proach from the farm or­gan­i­sa­tions to se­cur­ing higher cat­tle prices. “The IFA sim­ply don't want to work with us on this is­sue,” he claimed.

FFA have called for a na­tion­wide strike of beef fac­to­ries from April 2.

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