Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has been called on to intervene immediately in the beef crisis and finally take personal charge of the issue.

In a significant initiative on Sunday, August 4, IFA National Treasurer Tim Cullinan called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed to intervene immediately to resolve the escalating crisis in the beef sector.

Speaking to farmers protesting at the ABP plant in Nenagh, Mr Cullinan said: “Minister Creed is abdicating his responsibility to the sector and is ignoring the clear message from the ongoing farmer protests at factory gates which are now entering their second week.

“This crisis has been in the making for over a year and yet the Minister has completely failed to face up to it. He is in denial and standing idly by while cattle prices are in free-fall.”

“It is unthinkable that a sector of the size and significance of the beef industry has been ignored by the Minister responsible. In no other sector of comparable scale would this have been allowed to happen.”

Mr Cullinan added: “I want immediate and direct intervention by Minister Creed. I do not want further committees, working groups or talking shops. I want the Minister to bring ABP, Dawn Meats and Kepak into his office with farmer representatives, to once and for all deal with the crisis.

“There is a catalogue of issues which need to be addressed starting with cattle prices. The GRID system, which is heavily stacked against farmers and weighted towards the factories, need to be reviewed immediately.

“What’s infuriating farmers also is how the factories have been allowed to manipulate cattle prices by using the power of their owned large feedlots, which is putting the ordinary farmer in a no-win situation. It’s undeniable that factories have accumulated immense wealth on the backs of farmers over the past ten years and that cannot be allowed to continue.”

Mr Cullinan concluded: “There is no reason the Minister cannot bring the main players in the industry together by the middle of this week.”