Irish Farmers Association (IFA) president Joe Healy said Minister Creed must call an urgent meeting of the taskforce as well as the five major retailers, or farmer anger will “boil over”.
“IFA met the Minister last Thursday and made it clear that he needs to call in the processors and the retailers to hold them to account for their actions, but nothing happened and no price increase came on Friday when the factories fixed their prices,” he said.
“One of the few tangible outcomes from the negotiations presided over by the Minister was the creation of the Bord Bia price index. This shows that Irish prices are now 24c/kg behind the European price, and over 50c/kg behind the UK price,” he added. “The processors and retailers are pocketing the uplift in the European and world market. During the summer and autumn, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) were a constant presence on the airwaves telling us that the Irish price, at that time, was in line with the European market. Now, MII and the processors have gone into hiding.”
Irish beef farmers took action over the past week by blockading various retail distribution centres for 12-hour periods, which led to a 5c-10c/kg increase announced by the ABP Group.
“Minister Creed must know the level of anger there is amongst farmers on the ground. He must act now or he and the Beef Market Taskforce will become irrelevant,” warned Healy.