Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne says the Agriculture Minister must come before the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee to outline what steps he and his Department are taking to resolve the ongoing beef crisis.

Deputy Browne has backed his party’s call for a meeting of the Ag Committee next week to hear from the Minister.

He’s also calling on the Minister to reconvene talks between farming organisations, the meat industry and retailers.

“This situation, which has been escalating over recent weeks is completely unacceptable. Minister Creed has taken a hands-off approach and farmers are under unsustainable pressure and are struggling to survive”, said Deputy Browne.

“My party colleague Jackie Cahill has written to the Chair of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee Pat Deering TD asking that an emergency meeting take place as the earliest possible date and that Minister Creed be invited to attend. On foot of this, Minister Deering is now considering the possibility of reconvening the Committee next Wednesday.

“I welcome this movement and I believe the Minister has a duty to attend. He needs to update members on the measures he has taken over the past few weeks to resolve the issue.

“I am also calling on Minister Creed to make an immediate application to the European Commission for CAP market disturbance funding, to alleviate the severe drop in beef prices which farmers have been struggling with since May.

“The government needs to take swift action to safeguard the beef sector given the threats posed to it, not only from the current price instability, but also the ever-increasing possibility of a no deal Brexit”.