28 AUGUST 2019
ICSA president Edmond Phelan has welcomed the pragmatic approach of protesting farmers to facilitate the Chinese inspection at the Rathdowney plant. “This sensible compromise between the farmers and the Rathdowney management stands in massive contrast to the belligerent approach on-going in the High Court with ABP. I have repeatedly said that heavy-handed legal tactics are no solution to the Chinese impasse. We all want to see more sales to China but farmers have to get their fair share,” he said.
Mr Phelan had visited the protestors at Rathdowney factory yesterday and said that he had consistently supported anything which would increase markets for Irish beef and lamb provided that farmers get their fair share of profits from such deals. However, Mr Phelan said that, so far, farmers had seen nothing out of international trade deals. “Farmers are sick and tired of doing all the work while those further down the food chain grab all the profit. Farmers need a substantial price rise immediately if they are to avoid going bust.”
Mr Phelan was very critical of the actions of one meat processor in heading prematurely to the High Court today. “I am shocked at the aggressive approach of ABP in jumping the gun too quickly by threatening individual farmers with the full rigours of the court. I find it hard to believe that meat factories think that persecuting the very farmers that have made billionaires out of beef barons is the solution to the beef crisis.”
“It beggars belief that nasty litigation is what meat factories are resorting to. A resumption of talks is now all but impossible with this approach. ICSA cannot enter talks while individual farmers who are on their knees are threatened in this manner.”
“Far from being a solution the likely outcome is that many more farmers will now rush to join the protests. This can hardly be the optimum outcome for factories but it is now the likely consequence of their legal bully-boy tactics.”