The beef farmers of County Roscommon are preparing to mobilise ahead of a Beef Plan Group meeting in Castlerea Mart next Wednesday (16th) at 8 pm. The Beef Plan movement has been described by national organisers as “a last chance” for the struggling sector.
Spokesperson for the Roscommon group, Philip Leech, says something had to be done as farmers’ profits continue to decline.
“This is a voluntary organisation and it’s a plan that has been put together by farmers for farmers. Farmers’ profits have been eaten into by beef processors and retailers, and as a result the farming body is not getting a fair share of the pie. What the Beef Plan Group is trying to do is get a bit of control back before it’s too late,” he said.
Philip added that the group’s objectives centre around three main issues: regaining control of an animal from birth to slaughter and beyond; returning the cost of production plus a margin as a minimum, and regaining respect within the beef industry.
Philip said that the national Beef Plan Group is aiming to attract as many farmers as possible to row in behind the proposals.
“We’re trying to get 40,000 farmers to back this plan and if we have that it means we have a voice when it comes time to go to the Department (of Agriculture)”.
New members of the Beef Plan Group are being asked to contribute €10 towards the voluntary group.
Philip urged all Roscommon farmers involved in the beef sector to attend next Wednesday’s meeting in Castlerea Mart, adding that it was “in their best interests” so that they too could have a voice.