Varadkar: 'There is no government action that can increase beef prices'

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that underlying issues in the beef industry are to blame for the low prices that farmers are receiving
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that underlying issues in the beef industry are to blame for the low prices that farmers are receiving
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

No government action is going to increase beef prices to the level farmers want, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned.

Speaking exclusively to the Farming Independent at the Fine Gael 'think in' in Cork last Friday, the Taoiseach said he would be happy to meet the different sides of the ongoing beef dispute, but said he has every confidence in the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

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"In fairness he has managed to get an agreement but it was not signed up to by everyone. As a Government we are there to support him and I have said if there is anything I can do to help I'm willing to do this."

However, he warned there is an underlying difficult in the beef sector.

"The beef price is very low and it's a price that is similar across Europe and it's below the cost of production.

"Demand for beef is pretty flat, and production is high and competition is high, and there is a fundamental problem there and it's something we have to talk about long term.

"No Government action is going to be able to increase the price to the level farmers want," he said.

Everyone knows the Government cannot decide beef prices, but it is trying to help, he said.

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