Beef crisis is only show in town

Joe Healy: Urging farm families to attend Claremorris meeting.
Joe Healy: Urging farm families to attend Claremorris meeting.

THE ongoing crisis in the beef sector dominated the debate at last week’s Galway IFA AGM that was addressed by National President,  Joe Healy – this week Galway IFA officers were involved in a lobbying session of TDs and Senators on Wednesday in Dublin.

Galway-Mayo IFA Regional Officer, Roy O’Brien, said that ‘the one big issue’ in farming at present was the crisis in beef sector and the financial pressure being felt by farmers right across the cattle sector.

“It really is the only show in town – there is a general consensus that unless measures are put in place to secure a reasonable price for beef at our meat plants, then cattle farming is facing into a doomsday scenario,” said Roy O’Brien.

IFA President, Joe Healy, said that the beef crisis was down to multiple factors including poor prices, rising costs and reduced direct payments – these factors had been compounded by the weakness of sterling and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

“Compared to this time last year, cattle prices are down by 20/25c per kg or €100/head. Cattle finishers with young bulls are facing price cuts of 40c/kg+ and finding it almost impossible to sell their stock,” said Joe Healy.

Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, said that urgent action was now required by the Minister for Agriculture and the Government to ensure that a comprehensive package of market supports and direct aids for farmers was put in place as a matter of urgency by the EU Commission.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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