Coveney under fire for 'poor' handling of beef price crisis
Minister Coveney's performance on the beef crisis has been lambasted by farmers.
A Farming Independent survey carried out at the National Ploughing Championships found that 63.5pc of 1,009 respondents felt that the Minister for Agriculture's reaction to the beef crisis was either 'fairly poor' or 'very poor'.
Drystock farmers were particularly dissatisfied with the minister's performance. Two-thirds, or 66pc, of the 455 drystock farmers surveyed described Minister Coveney's response to the collapse in beef prices over the last year as either 'fairly poor' or 'very poor'.
For the survey, farmers were asked how they would rate Minister Coveney's response to the beef crisis.
In reply, 29pc of respondents said the minister's performance was 'very poor', with 34.5pc rating it as 'fairly poor', 22.5pc as 'satisfactory', 11pc as 'fairly good' and 2pc as 'very good'.
When the replies of drystock farmers are looked at separately, 35pc rated the minister's response to the crisis as 'very poor', with 31pc classing it as 'fairly poor'. Twenty percent said it was 'satisfactory', 11pc rated the minister's performance as 'fairly good', while just 3pc described it as 'very good'.
Dairy farmers also registered their anger at the fall-off in cattle prices, with 63pc describing Minister Coveney's response to the crisis as either 'fairly poor' or 'very poor', while 23pc said it was 'satisfactory'. Fourteen percent of dairy farmers rated the minister's actions on beef as 'fairly good' or 'very good'.
Full-time farmers were particularly critical of Minister Coveney. Sixty-nine percent of full-time operators rated his response to the beef crisis as 'fairly poor' or 'very poor', while the figure for part-time farmers was 62pc.