30th September 2014
Speaking at the ICSA protest at ABP Bandon today, suckler chairman Dermot Kelleher called on all beef and suckler farmers to sign up to the ICSA campaign threatening withdrawal from the Quality Assurance Scheme.
“The beef crisis is showing no signs of abating, and no-one seems to be listening to farmers,” said Mr. Kelleher. “There are people here today who are losing €200 to €300 an animal this year, and whose single farm payment is being swallowed up by these losses. Farmers are telling me that they are now seriously considering getting out of suckling.”
“This crisis is not just about price,” continued Mr. Kelleher. “There are endemic failings in the beef industry, among them the abuse of the Quality Assurance Scheme by meat factories and processors, who are able to manipulate prices so that hardworking farmers see no reward for their efforts to produce high quality beef. The response to our campaign to date is clearly indicative of the anger and disillusionment that’s out there, and farmers who haven’t had a chance to sign up yet can do so online at www.icsaireland.com.”
“The Minister must also take definitive action to ensure that this situation never again arises, including the appointment of a regulator to examine and patrol all aspects of the beef industry. We also need a date for the next meeting of the beef roundtable forum as a matter of urgency, and representatives of the retail sector must be in attendance at that meeting.”