23 FEBRUARY 2021
ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham has said the pace at which the Beef Taskforce is conducting its business is far too slow and has called for greater scope for farm organisations to compel the Taskforce to meet. “Beef prices have been inexplicably cut in recent weeks and ICSA wants answers as to why this is happening,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we have been left high and dry by the Beef Taskforce which has not met since December of last year. We are still in the middle of a global pandemic and farmers are also still feeling the wrath of Brexit. It is inexcusable that we are being left in the dark at what continues to be a perilous time, and when the livelihoods of so many beef farmers are hanging in the balance.”
“All stakeholders at the Beef Taskforce should be answerable to one another and all stakeholders must have the ability to convene the Taskforce, and we believe Minister McConalogue has a duty to introduce such a protocol. As issues arise and beef farmers are looking for answers and guidance, it’s just not good enough that certain members of the Taskforce can simply run for cover and get away with being answerable to no one.”
“Farmers and their representatives are being left to stew until it suits the other various stakeholders to meet. Right now, we do not know when that could even happen, or even if it is the Taskforce chair Michael Dowling, the Department or the meat industry calling the shots at this point. Ultimately, the buck stops with the Minister and he must bring the necessary protocols to bear and call the situation to order. The Taskforce is supposed to be a partnership, it’s about time it started operating like one.”