March 25, 2020
IFA calls on EU Commission to introduce measures to support farmers
Tim Cullinan, Irish Farmers' Association president said McDonald's decision to shut its doors in the UK and Ireland because of COVID-19 will negatively impact the local beef industry.
He said this has been happening across Europe as restaurant closures have affected the food service sector. On the other hand, he said the retail industry is growing as consumer demand for meat has increased.
Cullinan urged the EU Commission and Minister Michael Creed to introduce new measures to support farmers, so that there will be enough food supplies for the public.
Some of the measures Cullinan has proposed include to make adjustments to EU beef market supports, protect the internal EU market and stop all non-EU imports of beef (including beef imports from South America that do not comply with EU standards) and amend state aid regulations so the Irish Government can support farmers.
Cullinan also wants theEU Commission to allocate funding towards direct payment support to farmers to compensate for losses in the beef market, as well as inspection requirement reviews so farmers are able to obtain direct payments unrestrained by inspections.
The IFA president said beef prices in Ireland are below farmers' production costs and they are not able to cut prices further.
- Irish Farmers' Association