Bord Bia is not marketing our products as good as they could - Healy Ray
'The factories are having a field day at the expense of farmers'
Politicians have criticised Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture for inspecting farmers and not doing enough to expand markets to help alleviate the current beef crisis price.
At a sitting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture with staff from the Department of Agriculture on the beef sector and Foodwise 2025, Independent TD Danny Healy Ray stated that more needed to be done to drive exports of beef abroad and also slammed factories for paying farmers poor prices compared to the North.
“Bord Bia are carrying out inspections but I don’t believe they are marketing our products as good as they could be, the factories are having a field day at the expense of farmers,” he said.
Fianna Fail TD Jackie Cahill added that market development hasn’t happened and criticised the Department of Agriculture for not including the impact that increased volume of beef and dairy animals would have on the industry in FoodWise 2025 when it was compiled in 2015
“Market development hasn’t happened. Why didn’t projections in Foodwise include volume growth targets?
“The lack of realisation on the crisis beef sector is in is frightening. This thing that we have all of these great markets is gunk, lets state the facts and not be trying to hoodwink people. 96pc of beef goes to EU and the rest is sent elsewhere as offal. Our sector is on its knees,” he said.
“We knew that the dairy herd was going to expand at a significant rate and we were going to increase milk, to me that was ignoring the inevitable and unfortunately the inevitable is there now. We have 40,000 cattle a week that we can’t kill and that is the reality of Food Wise.”
Mr Cahill stated that there is no mention of profitability in Food Wise and that “men would want to be making €4.60/kg and God help you if you have Friesian steer to kill.”