CARTHY SAYS “FARMERS ARE IN DESPERATION” AS PRICES REMAIN LOW

31 October 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

farmersSOUTH Monaghan based Sinn Fein MEP for the Midlands-North West, Matt Carthy, voiced strong support for the IFA protest campaign to highlight the poor prices farmers were getting for beef, when he commended the group assembled outside the ABP meat processing plant in Clones, earlier this week.

He said the level of frustration and anger of local beef farmers was palpable and the fact that this it was the first protest of this type in 15 years reflected the growing “sense of desperation felt by many farmers as they continue to see no improvement on the issue of beef pricing”.

“Beef farmers are at their wits end as they continue to produce a high quality product to specific standards yet the Irish beef prices are now below the EU average while the price paid for beef in Britain has increased by €100 per head in recent weeks and are now at €350 per head above Irish beef prices.

He said many farmers had spoken to him of the “manipulation by the factories and processing plants” which control the price paid to farmers for their beef and in many cases there had been a lack of monitoring and control on processors who had used price and specification cuts for weight and age not included in the original Quality Payment System as a tool to devalue livestock.

He said, “a 2013 report by Teagasc has confirmed that the income of cattle farmers has reduced between 12% and 22% with the average family income in this category now at very low levels between …

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