Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has called on the Agriculture Minister to spell out exactly what contact he has made with Burger King and other major Irish beef customers since the emergence of the horsemeat controversy.
He has also repeated his request that the Minister come before the Agriculture Committee to clear up the growing confusion around the source of the horsemeat and the slow pace of his response.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “The decision of Burger King to switch suppliers is serious and should not be dismissed. The critically important beef industry needs to know that everything possible is being done to mitigate the damage of this controversy. They need a Minister who is taking the initiative to personally reassure major customers that Irish beef remains the safest and best beef product in the world.
“I am calling on the Minister to spell out exactly what contact he had with Burger King before and since their decision and what he is doing to speak to other major beef customers. The industry and the many thousands of people employed in the industry require a Minister who is taking personal responsibility and leading from the front in this crisis.
“To date, Minister Coveney has resisted my calls for an immediate meeting of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee. I believe this is a mistake. I believe that the Minister and his Department need a much greater sense of urgency in their response. An immediate meeting of the Committee would also give the Minister the chance to explain his customer contact strategy before any more damage is sustained by the sector.”