IRELAND - The IFA delegation, which included Livestock Chairman Henry Burns and Vice-Chairman Michael Biggins, left the beef roundtable in no doubt as to the anger and frustration among beef finishers over what has happened to their incomes and viability this spring.
In relation to the issues discussed, Eddie Downey welcomed the commitment of the Minister to seek urgent solutions to the issues highlighted by the IFA, including beef specification concerns, contracts and premiums for winter finishing, restrictions on cattle movements and North/South trade.
The Minister also committed to engaging directly with the Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture Michelle O’Neill on live export concerns.
Mr Downey said the extra Bord Bia resources to be directed at marketing beef in Ireland's main markets, particularly the UK and Germany, is timely and must deliver higher prices.
The IFA President said farmers would judge this process on the basis of their concerns being fully addressed. He said, "The prices they secure from the market must fully reflect the work and investment involved in producing quality beef."
At the summit, Mr Downey also highlighted the need for the Minister for Agriculture to reject outright any attempt to reach a deal with the Mercosur group that would damage vital European beef and pork markets.
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