Fianna Fáil Councillor and Bye Election Candidate for Wexford, Malcolm Byrne has said that beef farmers in Wexford are feeling abandoned because many of the agreed reforms have not yet been implemented.

Malcolm said it was extremely frustrating for farmers that the Minister for Agriculture could not get all stakeholders around the table for the inaugural meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce.

He commented “Nearly two months on from the Irish Beef Sector deal agreed by seven national farm organisations and Meat Industry Ireland on September 15th, Minister Creed has failed to get the much-referenced Beef Taskforce up and running.

“We can see from his recent remarks, that the convening of the taskforce was ‘in the hands of the chairman’, that he is more than happy to return to his hands-off approach, which led to this problem in the first place.

“The Minister must realise that he cannot delegate out responsibility for the unresolved issue.

“With steer prices still on the floor at €3.45, beef farmers feel abandoned with many reforms in the beef agreement awaiting progression and approval from the taskforce. This includes the beef market index which will strengthen transparency around beef, cattle and offal prices.

“Beef farmers in Wexford are understandably angry and if the Minister does not take the reins and stand up for farmers we may see a return to the protests and unrest”, he concluded.