June 19th, 2014
ICSA President Patrick Kent has expressed disappointment with the Government response to Dáil questions on the beef crisis.
“The response of Minister Pat Rabbitte clearly illustrates that the Government is completely out of touch with the situation facing beef and suckler farmers,” said Mr. Kent. “The Teagasc National Farm Survey estimates for 2013 show a catastrophic collapse of 22% in suckler incomes and 39% in sheep incomes. On average, these farmers are earning less than they would on the dole.”
“At their Beef Open Day on Wednesday, Teagasc noted that the even the most efficient high performance suckler farms are only making €4000 per annum out of 70 cows in a 100 acre unit. In the light of these figures, and the fact that direct supports to farmers are declining on an ongoing basis, it is quite baffling that the Minister could imply that this is a good time for farming.”
“Certainly, there are those who are profiting, and indeed profiteering, from the beef industry,” continued Mr. Kent. “Only last week, Tesco was looking forward to a 140% increase in beef sales due to a combination of good weather and the World Cup. None of the profit from that increase will find its way into farmers’ pockets. Why should farmers be expected to produce a high-quality but low-priced commodity for international multiples to profiteer from?”