Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan has said the Beef Plan Movement needs to meet the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to help end the current beef protests.
Senator Feighan, Fine Gael General Election candidate in Sligo Leitrim said: “It is crystal clear that we need engagement with all stakeholders to overcome the current impasse.
“A round table discussion regarding the current market difficulties involving all stakeholders including Minister Creed, farm organisations, representatives of the beef processing sector, Meat Industry Ireland, the Department and its agencies needs to happen as soon as possible.
“I met with farmers outside Leinster House last week and again in Ballyhaunis last night. Their frustration is palpable.
“I was in Hong Kong last year and I saw a vac packed 400g Irish T-bone retailing for €25. It’s great that our meat is now available in these markets, but we need to ask why our farmers are not prospering as a result.
“The farmer, as producer, is absolutely key to beef supply and we need to acknowledge that.
“I fully acknowledge the very difficult circumstances that beef farmers are currently experiencing, particularly against the backdrop of market uncertainty arising from Brexit.
“However, it is clear that in light of the announcement of layoffs in the meat processing sector, the difficult income situation facing farmers with livestock for slaughter and on animal welfare grounds dialogue needs to be entered into by all sides, without preconditions,” the Fine Gael Senator said.