Immediate action required on ‘unfair’ beef price cuts – Fitzmaurice

Immediate action is required following the sudden and unfair beef price cuts recently imposed by processors, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

Following processors’ recent decision to drop beef quotes by 5c/kg, Fitzmaurice said: “When you look at market reports and the price of beef in the UK, the decision to drop prices here are totally unjustified. The market reasoning given so far to explain away the cut has been wholly unsatisfactory. Supplies of finished cattle are tight at present, and some factories are only killing three days of the week.

“I believe the minister must intervene and hold the processors accountable, particularly since a €100 million capital investment scheme was made available to them as a result of the potential impacts of Brexit. As well as this, the Beef Market Taskforce needs to be called back as a matter of urgency.

“Additionally, I am calling for all future meetings of the taskforce to be broadcast live online, as committee meetings are in Leinster House. This would ensure complete transparency and give farmers across the country the opportunity to watch the discussions for themselves. Farm organisations are doing their best to hold the other stakeholders to account, but there is no reason why all farmers should not be given the opportunity to see what is going on with their own eyes.

“The taskforce needs to meet at least once a month. The technology is there to hold the meetings virtually and broadcast it live. Farmers deserve transparency when it comes to decisions around their livelihoods,” Fitzmaurice concluded.