Work cut out for parties at beef summit
Published 16/04/2014 | 02:30
There is going to be pressure on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to secure something substantive from the beef industry discussions which are due to take place in Dublin Castle on Thursday morning.
However, the minister is not the only one who will be under pressure. Farmers are also putting pressure on their representative bodies to deliver.
The growing frustration felt by beef farmers were clearly illustrated in the admission by IFA president Eddie Downey that the continued collection of levies for the farmer body by the factories was being raised by farmers at meetings right around the country.
Speaking at a meeting of the Limerick IFA county executive, Mr Downey maintained the policy had never restricted the IFA in its dealings with the factories but the fact that the levy situation is coming under the spotlight is in itself reflective of the mounting anger among farmers.
One industry source characterised this week's summit as an effort to get Minister Coveney and his officials out of the crossfire.
But the farm organisations have already indicated that a glorified PR job by the minister will not be acceptable for their members.
In reality, however, what can the Dublin Castle summit deliver and why was it that an agenda was still not available for the discussions yesterday?
Talking to beef farmers the three main issues they believe need to be addressed are: