'Beef Plan' initiative farmers to convene at Kanturk Mart
Beef prices slammed as 'unsustainable'
The current prices that some factories are paying farmers for beef is 18% lower than their British counterparts which is "unsustainable" and is forcing farmers out of the industry.
That is the view of MEP hopeful Jason Fitzgerald (FF). On Wednesday, December 12, farmers from Duhallow are expected to attend the first Munster meeting of beef farmers which will be held at Kanturk Mart.
Eamon Corely, who is one of the founders of the Beef Plan initiative, which currently claims 10,000 members, will address the meeting. The Beef Plan is for both beef and dairy farmers and aims to unite 40,000 farmers in a bid to negotiate better beef prices for their members.
According to Mr Fitzgerald, the government has "played up the fact" that Irish agricultural exports has increased by 70% since 2009 - but, he said, farmers have seen "little to no increase in farm gate prices throughout this period. "This must change," he said.
It was his view that the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) has been inadequate to meet the consequences of a cheap food policy.
"The prices farmers are receiving for livestock in marts and meat factories across the country is not sustainable, especially this year," he said.
He said when Ireland joined the EEC in 1973, farmers received 75% of what the consumer paid for the finished product. Today, farmers only receive 21-26% of what the consumer pays.
"The difference is shared between the processors receiving approximately 28% and the retailers receiving up to 50%. The cheap food policy of the EU no longer protects the interests of farmers," he said.
The meeting on Wednesday, December 12 will take place at 8pm.