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Cattle Industry Problems Need To Be Tackled Now

By January 7, 2016No Comments

There are a number of serious problems affecting the cattle industry that need to be addressed immediately by Minister Simon Coveney who has been asleep at the wheel in recent months. Farmers with heavier cattle are being penalised in price which contravenes what was agreed at the Beef Forum. Minister Coveney has taken his eye off the ball once again on this issue. Despite what was agreed at the Beef Forum the prices for heavier cattle are being cut at the factories, which is extremely unfair. In some cases the factories are not accepting the heavier cattle which has severe implications for farmers who have invested heavily in meal and fodder.
It is also worrying to note that a large processor recently took a 50% interest another small beef producer and this is going to further affect the level of competition in the beef and cattle industry which is a very unhealthy development. We have seen in recent years that Ryanair were not allowed to buy Aer Lingus because of competition rules yet there seems to be no problem having one major player in the beef industry gobbling up all the smaller players and it is time the government woke up on this issue.
Also, there has been a recent trend with UK factories, some of which are Irish owned, making deductions for cattle which are imported from Ireland and are finished in the UK. In all cases they are being penaslied by 10p per kilo which is very unfair. I am appealing today to our Ministers to stop talking out of both sides of their mouths on competition law and support Irish farmers in the face of this behaviour by the big meat processors both here and in the UK.