Minister For Agriculture Urged To Intervene In Beef Dispute

The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has been urged to intervene in the ongoing dispute over beef prices.

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada made the call as farmers finished a 48 hour blockade of fourteen meat factories across the State.

Speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels, Ms Ní Riada said: "As they come to the end of their second large-scale national protest, it is heartening to see the unity amongst the farming and rural community, as well as the wide public support for their campaign.

"I welcome the progress made by the IFA and ICSA in their recent negotiations with the meat producers on specifications issue. That said, it is clear that talks cannot just focus on specifications and other concerns. Price must be part of any negotiations, and I am calling on Minister Coveney to ensure that the issue of market price returns is on the agenda at the Beef Forum talks that he will host tomorrow.

"Farmers cannot be expected to work for free, nor to take a loss on their product. We take great pride in our farming sector and the tremendous and wold quality foods we produce. The government must end its lip-service and act now to secure the future of our agricultural sector and our rural communities."


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