After nearly three months passing without the inaugural meeting of the Beef Taskforce, Minister Michael Creed has been criticised for failing to get the meeting off the ground.

“Farmers are extremely frustrated over the inability of the Minister for Agriculture to get all stakeholders around the table,” said Charlie McConalogue, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“We are almost three months on from the Irish Beef Sector deal agreed by seven national farm organisations and Meat Industry Ireland on 15 September. This is extremely disappointing.”

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'Abandoned'

He said that farmers feel abandoned, as many reforms in the beef agreement are awaiting progression and approval, including the beef market index that with strengthen transparency around beef, cattle and offal prices as steer prices remain at €3.45/kg.

“Factories have imposed weight limits recently. This is contrary to the four-month notice period that was to be observed under the 15 September deal. All processors must adhere to this,” said McConalouge.

Factories have imposed weight limits recently

He said that the Minister’s inaction is a “slap in the face for the farmers” and it was this type of inaction that led to the initial protests.

He called for the Minister to stand up for farmers and take full responsibility, “the buck stops with him and him alone.”

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