ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham has said he welcomes Minister McConalogue’s commitment to establish a new strategic beef forum following the publication of the final Beef Taskforce report, penned by its chair Michael Dowling. However, Mr Graham said while the Taskforce did most of what it set out to do, lessons must be learned from what it failed to do.
“The need for a dedicated red meat regulator equipped with the necessary powers and resources has never been more evident. This is something which ICSA has long since been fighting for, and something which we continue to pursue with Minister McConalogue.”
Mr Graham said, “While the Beef Taskforce did oversee the implementation of the majority of the agreed actions under the Irish Beef Sector Agreement, it is ultimately what the Taskforce was prevented from doing that should inform us going forward.”
He said, “The Beef Taskforce did not have the power to make meaningful changes. Crucially, it did not have the power to compel processors or retailers to co-operate with any of the independent reports it undertook. ICSA does not want to see another beef forum where farmer representatives are operating with one hand tied behind their backs due to a lack of cooperation from major players. Any new beef sector forum that is established must be fit for purpose; it must have the power to deliver meaningful change.”