Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív has accused the Government of failing to take any tangible action to ensure a fair price for beef farmers as processors continue to drive the Government’s agenda.

Irish beef farmers are being left behind by Fine Gael, as the price deferential between Irish beef and British beef in UK supermarkets continues to grow.

Deputy Ó Cuív explained, “Minister Coveney has failed to address the issues in the Irish beef sector and only set up the Beef Forum as a hollow political gesture. The forum itself has clearly failed farmers and has proven to be a toothless tiger- benefitting the processors to the detriment of the primary producer.

“The move by ABP Food Group to take a 50% stake in Slaney Foods raises legitimate competition questions about the beef and lamb processing sector. The Minister has refused to make any submission to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission regarding the matter.

“We cannot have a situation where farmers continue to be price takers as opposed to price makers.

“Fianna Fáil has clearly outlined a policy solution in the form of a “Groceries Code Adjudicator”, similar to the one which operates in the UK, which enshrines the protection of primary producers in national law and brings fairness to the food supply chain.

“Fianna Fáil believes in an Ireland for all. We will continue to fight against this inequity by protecting beef farmers in the food supply chain and ensure they get a fair price for their produce”.