Agriculture Minister Pens Open Letter To Beef Farmers

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has penned an open letter to beef farmers as protests and blockades of meat plants continue.

It comes after farming organisations widely supported recommendations made at the weekend following talks between all sides.

In his letter, which he shared on Twitter on Monday evening, Deputy Creed urged farmers to give the deal a chance, saying they had the Irish beef sector in their hands.

"Over the past number of weeks you have made your stand," he wrote.

"Over the weekend huge efforts were made to reach an agreement, to signal to you that not only have your voices been heard but that things are going to change. This is why the leaders of the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA); Macra na Feirme; the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers' Association (ICMSA); the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA); the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers' Association (INHFA); and the Beef Plan Movement backed the agreement.

"The agreement is a compromise. Nobody got everything they wanted. Everyone had to give something. It was hard fought on all sides for over 36 hours of tough negotiation."

Mr Creed continued by making an appeal to farmers: "Your voices have been heard. I write this letter to respectfully ask for two things: firstly, I ask that you give the agreement a chance – own it for how you made it happen.

"Secondly, I ask that you seriously consider what continuing the protests now means. The future of the sector is now in the balance. If you are of the view that you have no future in beef farming anyway – please consider those who wish to keep going.

"The future of the Irish beef sector is in your hands; please don't be responsible for its destruction. The futures of your fellow farmers are in your hands – please don’t be responsible for their livelihoods."


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