Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will decide on whether or not the Beef Market Taskforce will continue into the future shortly.

The taskforce was set up by his predecessor Michael Creed in response to issues raised during the beef protests during the summer of 2019.

The Minister asked the taskforce chair Michael Dowling earlier this year to compile a report on the progress of the taskforce. That report has now been completed.

The Minister said he will complete his analysis of the report and will then “make the necessary decision on future strategic engagement with the sector”.

“The beef sector agreement contained 38 specific actions. Of these 38 actions, 30 were finite actions that had timelines attached for completion.

“The remaining eight are ongoing actions, which by their nature are long-term and will continue outside of the context of the beef taskforce,” he said in response to Sinn Féin TD for Mayo Rose Conway-Walsh.

‘Most suitable vehicle’

The Minister said that it should be noted that the taskforce was set up in response to the issues that prevailed in the sector in the late summer of 2019 and had specific actions to address.

“It is conceivable that it may not be the most suitable vehicle for addressing those that exist in 2021 and beyond. I will make a decision on this shortly.

“Effective strategic engagement across the beef sector is crucial to its development in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way that works for all actors in the supply chain and it must work for farmers in particular,” he said.

Minister McConalogue said that the taskforce did valuable work and was important in bringing stakeholders from the sector together.