Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Agriculture Minister to provide additional supports to the suckler beef sector as farmers continue to struggle with plummeting prices.

Over the past six months prices have fallen by 33%.  Despite this, the government has turned a blind eye to the hardship many farmers are suffering.

“The lack of an adequate return to the primary producer is causing many beef farmers to seriously consider their futures.  The margins are simply not there anymore and support must be made available to the farmers in most need of assistance”, said Deputy Brendan Smith.

“The beef sector is critical to our agri food business and to the national economy, however many farmers feel like the government has turned a blind eye to the difficulties that they are experiencing.

“Added to poor margins and additional costs experienced in 2018, farmers are now facing the uncertainty of Brexit, with a possible no-deal scenario on the cards.  This has the potential to be disastrous for our agri-food sector.  Britain is the most important market for our beef industry and any impediments to trade between the two countries will cause serious difficulties.

“Unless the government and Minister Creed wake up to the seriousness of the situation, we will have a full blown crisis on our hands.  I am urging the Minister to take action and to examine what supports could be could be made available to the farmers in most need of assistance”.