Declan Breathnach TD Louth (and East Meath)

12th August, 2019

Breathnach calls for Minister Creed to explore possible solutions put forward by those who work the Beef Industry

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has called on Minister Creed to really listen to the concerns of farmers and beef manufacturers in the current crisis and to explore possible solutions put forward by those supplying and working in the industry who know best.

“I have been speaking this week to both farmers, and those involved in meat production.

“The current market for beef is particularly weak as exports to our main market, the UK are down with the uncertainty of Brexit.

“While we are exporting to other countries, in Europe there is an increase in lower priced product coming in from Brazil and Australia.

“For instance, steak meat has devalued against last years prices by 40%, again due to lower prices from non-EU sources and lower priced Polish supply.

“Brexit has caused an over supply in the UK as stock was held back in anticipation of hard borders.  This stock has not finished clearing through the system and is keeping prices down.  Buyers of beef would have booked stock 3 and 6 months ahead and only booking 4 weeks ahead because of uncertainty.

“The Minister needs to listen and implement possible solutions put forward by those in the industry.  The Minister should commission a review of the pricing grid system and at the same time publish standards on the age limits and pricing bands to link up with the pricing system so that a farmer can have clarity and transparency in what to expect to get for cattle.

“In addition, as I mentioned to the Minister in the Dáil previously in relation to dairy prices, forward pricing is a missed opportunity.  This would involve factories and suppliers sitting down to secure cattle supply back to back with their retail or food service contracts, which would bring more transparency to the supply chain.

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Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638) (T) 01 6183549 (Email)  declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie