REFORMS TO GIVE MORE PRICE CONTROL TO BEEF FARMERS
Today, I secured the unanimous support of every TD in Dáil Eireann to bring forward 4 measures which have the potential to fundamentally shift power away from meat processors & supermarkets to beef farmers.
This won’t happen overnight, but if such steps were taken 5 years ago, then we would not have the crisis that we have today.
Dáil Eireann supported my 4 proposals:
1- intensify efforts to secure EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for certified grass-fed, extensively reared Irish suckler beef and in tandem with PGI status to develop a new marketing brand, along the lines of the Kerrygold brand, to sell this unique product into premium markets;
2- implement the recommendation to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission of 28th May last, that a dedicated sectoral regulator be established as a matter of urgency to enforce the EU Directive on Unfair Trading Practices in the agricultural and food supply chain, and to deliver ongoing regulatory interventions to improve the welfare of farmers;
3- as an interim measure, ensure that the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation shall, under section 10(4) of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014, request the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to carry out a market study and analysis on the nature and scale of consumer and beef farmer issues in the beef market and make recommendations, as appropriate;
4- ensure that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine immediately convenes a cross-sector implementation group to establish a publicly owned and controlled national beef supply blockchain, which has the potential to transform the beef supply chain by reducing production costs, emissions and allowing the farmer to receive a premium return for beef while providing consumers with greater confidence in the beef they consume.
I now look forward to working with all TDs and the Government to have these proposals implemented in the interests of Irish suckler farmers.