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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 16 December, 2019

Beef Market Taskforce set to hold first meeting

The Taskforce was agreed to by beef farmers and organisations in October after weeks of protests.

Farmers protesting outside the Department of Agriculture in Dublin in October.
Farmers protesting outside the Department of Agriculture in Dublin in October.

THE GOVERNMENT’S BEEF Market Taskforce is due to hold its first meeting this morning. 

The group was set to gather in mid-October but was prevented from meeting after protesters blocked industry representatives from entering the Department of Agriculture. 

The Taskforce was agreed to by beef farmers and organisations, and representatives of the beef processing sector in October following weeks of protests.

It’s one of a number of measures, along with a new bonus payment for quality assured cattle, which was set out in a deal brokered by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed. 

Farmers had accepted the deal in exchange for the meat industry dropping all legal actions brought against protesting farmers who blockaded the gates of processing plants. 

Speaking ahead of today’s meeting, IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman, Angus Woods, said that farmers won’t tolerate the Taskforce becoming “another talking shop” and that is “must deliver real results on cattle price and market transparency to quell farmer anger.”

Said Woods: “Farmers are angry at low prices and the failure of factories to increase the prices they are paying farmers despite a significant strengthening of prices on international markets for beef and other meat proteins.”

Woods said that livestock farmers need to see “an immediate price increase and results on a focused range of issues that deliver concrete progress on issues that matter to farmers, with a price increase being fundamental to farmer confidence and support”. 

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