Fianna Fáil Senator Marc Mac Sharry has today slammed what he called Minister Coveney’s paralysis and inaction on the nations beef crisis.
“Whether Paralysis or downright ineptitude Minister Coveney and his Government have stood idly by as the Agricultural Crisis cripples the nations farming families”
Mac Sharry said “if the Government refuse to take the necessary steps then we must take the initiative. The Russian market has traditionally being of vital importance to the Irish Beef Offal and Manufacturing Beef Trade and this has disappeared with an ongoing Russian Ban on Irish Offal. I have sought a meeting with his Excellency Maxim Peshkov, the Russian Ambassador to seek a derogation from the Ban for Irish Beef Products. Other Countries including Germany & France have in past sought and have been granted such a derogation from Russian Beef products but Minister Coveney and the Government have done nothing.”
In addition Mac Sharry added, “We are seeking to have the Island of Ireland treated as one another words to prevent the treatment of Irish Beef as being of ‘mixed origin’ just because it may have been reared in Sligo and finished in Armagh. It defies logic that beef reared in Fermanagh and Cavan are to be treated differently. Supermarket Multiples and Processors must be persuaded to drop movement restrictions within the so called ‘Nomadic Rule’ to permit the normal unrestricted trade between northern and southern Ireland. This is not a question of diluting traceability rather it is about equality within the provision of safe and quality beef products from All Ireland. These are achievable and reasonable actions which can and should be taken by Government – Clearly they are not prepared to do it and so I am happy to lead this much needed initiative”
“The differentiation of prices paid to farming families for cattle (live weight) and those being charged by supermarkets to consumers are between 325% more for the off cuts and 1550% more for the primal cuts. Clearly processors and supermarkets have costs but this level of mark-up premium is extortion by any objective analysis. Over the coming weeks it is our intention to meet with Russian representatives and representatives of each of the main processors and supermarket multiples to progress our plans”
“This crisis is had an adverse impact on all of Ireland and in particular west / northwest and border areas where a longer winter, smaller holdings and poorer quality land further exasperates the worsening situation.”