‘How could I ask my son to give up his job to go farming?’

Jack Frisby and his wife Mairead.
Jack Frisby and his wife Mairead.
Large crowds at this years national ploughing championships in Ballintrane, Fenagh, County Carlow. Pic:Mark Condren
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

A farmer who was protesting at Bord Bia today at the Ploughing Championships asked how can he ask his son to give up his job to go farming.

Jack Frisby, from Mullinavat, Kilkenny, was named in an injunction in recent weeks, taken out by Dawn Meats after weeks of protests by beef farmers.

Frisby was one of nine farmers named, as well as the Beef Plan Movement, in court when injunctions restraining groups of protesters from blockading their factories and intimidating staff and suppliers were granted recently.

He says he doesn’t know if the injunction is still hanging over him. He says he’s currently losing €70/head on cattle. “I brought 14 heifers to a mart recently and took them home again.”

“All we want is a livelihood. We don’t have it. I don’t know what our son is going to do, but I can’t see my grandson going farming.”

Frisby and a number of other farmers were in the Bord Bia tent today at the Ploughing Championships to voice their complaints about the beef sector.

Other farmers criticised Bord Bia’s Quality Assurance auditing process, saying it was bringing farmers to tears.

“I had a farmer in my kitchen crying over his audit. The stress of audits is killing older farmers,” one said.

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Padraig Brennan Meat, Food & Beverages Director with Bord Bia said it heard from farmers that they found the audits stressful and had introduced a help desk to reduce the stress on farmers.

This, he said, allows someone to come out to the farm and help the farmer prepare for the audit.

According to Bord Bia, less than 1pc of farmers who have taken the audit in the past 18 months have failed it.

Online Editors

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