Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, has called for an immediate meeting of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee with the Minister for Agriculture in attendance to discuss the current crisis in the beef sector and the failure of the Minister to get the retailers and meat processors to the table.

He commented, “Last week’s meeting of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee agreed to a Fianna Fáil proposal mandating the Minister for Agriculture to initiate the immediate resumption of talks and calling for meat processors to demonstrate a willingness to address these key issues.  The Committee also unanimously agreed the necessity for retailers to be included in talks.

“Despite this mandate the Minister has failed to follow through on this matter and we have seen a breakdown in talks this week. We now have the unacceptable situation were the processors are refusing to come back to talks.

“The Agriculture Committee need to meet with the Minister immediately to discuss the failure of the retailers to come to talks and the refusal of the meat processing sector to reengage in talks.

“We need to have talks up and running. Progress can be made but it is imperative the Minister gets these groups back to the table and reconvene discussions. It is the only way we will have success and a resolution in the beef crisis,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.