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Teagasc Conference Theme Highlights Poor Prospects for Drystock Sector

Aug 13, 2014 | Press Releases | 0 comments

13th August 2014

ICSA rural development chairman Billy Gray has said that the announcement that this year’s Teagasc Rural Development Conference will focus on finding off-farm employment shows just how bad things have become in drystock farming.

“It is a sad indictment of the state of agriculture in Ireland today when even Teagasc has given up on prospects for the drystock sector,” said Mr. Gray. “Are we to take this as an indicator that government policy is now shifting towards moving farmers off the land rather than finding ways to make farming profitable for the beef and sheep sectors?”

“Unless the government stands up to the large multinational retailers who are hell-bent on driving down farm viability while they benefit from increasing retail prices for Irish beef, we are going nowhere. Forcing farmers into looking for off-farm employment at a time when economic recovery is still in its infancy and unemployment rates are above 11% makes no absolutely no sense and cannot be justified.”

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ICSA Beef chair Edmund Graham has called on the new Food Regulator to pay special attention to the takeover of Kildare Chilling by Dawn Meats which he said has devastating implications for competition for both beef and lamb. “Farmers have lost all faith in the CCPC which has nodded through this takeover. The reality is that a factory that many farmers depended on to sell cattle and lambs at a fair price is now under the control of one of the big two. This will not be a good outcome for farmers.”

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