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Jun 22, 2016 | Press Releases | 0 comments

22 JUNE 2016

ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan has described the fine given to Keelaghan Wholesale Meats as grossly inadequate. “The fine shows that there is a kid glove approach to meat processors while farmers get hammered. This company was fined just €16,000 for labelling imported meat from east Europe as Irish. If a farmer imported cattle from abroad, cut off their tags and tried to pass them off as Irish, the farmer would suffer a far greater punishment.  He would possibly get jail and, at a minimum suffer a fine on his direct payments that would be far greater relative to the scale of his operations.”

Keelaghan Meats were last week found guilty of six offences including falsely declaring imported beef as being of Irish origin. “These offences amount to a deliberate attempt to undermine the beef traceability scheme; the penalty should have been much greater.”

“There is no mercy for farmers who have cattle missing tags even though this is due to tags falling off accidently whereas this case exposed a deliberate effort to defraud both Irish beef producers and consumers. It also undermines all our endeavours to secure complete traceability in the beef sector.”

Noting the potential monetary impact for farmers, Mr Phelan said “bringing in cheaper beef and disguising it as Irish is designed to undermine the price paid to Irish producers.  Even if there is a drop of just 1c/kg on prime beef, this adds up to a loss for farmers of over €4 million on an annualised basis. With margins so tight, any undermining of the price paid to farmers cannot be ignored. Likewise, any undermining of the protection offered to consumers through the traceability scheme should be severely dealt with. Unfortunately in the case of Keelaghan Meats we have not seen this happen.”


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ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has said it is unacceptable that some 18,600 farmers will have to wait until February 2024 to receive their ACRES payment. “ICSA, along with other farmer representatives, today (6 December) met with senior Department of Agriculture officials in Portlaoise for an update on payments from the various farm schemes. At this meeting we were informed that no participant of the Cooperation Project (CP) stream of ACRES tranche one will be paid until February at the earliest. This news will come as a devasting blow to all those farmers who have been already waiting far too long for their payments,” he said.

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