In a statement, Irish Farmers Association president Joe Healy said the “petty behaviour of Larry Goodman’s ABP group and the unwillingness of the Minister to take charge of the situation has resulted in farmer frustration boiling over”.
“The Government assist ABP in many ways through various Government Departments and State agencies. The Minister has to make it clear that he will not allow the Goodman Group to hold the beef sector to ransom,” he said.
Irish beef farmers have been expressing their frustration over their share of prices, leading to a protest in Dublin City Centre earlier this week. Beef producers had campaigned at processing plants during the summer but following several rounds of talks between farmers, Meat Industry Ireland and lobby groups, an agreement was reached however they now feel that no progress has been made to address the issue.
“We need the legal threats lifted and Taskforce to meet urgently. The Minister needs to be there himself to ensure that progress is made,” said Healy. “It’s clear that the new Beef Price Index shows that Irish prices are 17c/kg behind prices in our main export markets, and this is being pocketed by the factories. The real issue for all farmers on the ground is that beef prices are increasing in every other country except Ireland and farmers feel exploited.”
When approached by Global Meat News, ABP declined to comment on the comments made by the Irish Farmers Association.