Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA) president Edmond Phelan has said that the nationwide farmer protest outside beef factories is entirely understandable given that confidence in the sector is at an all-time low.
“ICSA members are protesting alongside their fellow farmers, as current beef prices are very far below the cost of production,” Phelan said.
“There is a lot of talk about factories being able to pay €4/kg. In reality however, even €4/kg comes nowhere near giving the farmer a margin.”
He said that a resolution was needed in the coming days to the Beef Plan Movement-instigated protests.
Prepared to help
“[The] ICSA is prepared to help in any way to find a resolution and we stand ready to work in a united way,” he said.
“However, [the] ICSA is not seeking credit for this protest and it is a matter for the organisers in Beef Plan to suggest how we can help.”
Phelan said in the long term, a plan was needed to tackle “vegan propaganda” and bring balance back to the market.
He also said that more effort was needed to be put in the live export market and a policy to set a floor of €200/cow was needed for sucklers.
“The logical way to do that is offer an alternative of €200 per cow per year to those who volunteer to reduce production for five years.”
He concluded by saying that the ICSA would be ramping up its campaign to deliver EU-wide auditing of the food chain and expose profiteering.
Straight talking between gardaí and farmers at Kildare Chilling protest
In pictures: Beef Plan protests around the country