'Toxicity' of relationship between meat industry and farmers must end, says Creed

'Toxicity' of relationship between meat industry and farmers must end, says Creed
Veronica Moody, Carbery, Co Kildare with her Charolais heifer at the Tullamore Show and FBD National Livestock Show. Picture: Dan Linehan

The Minister for Agriculture has said that the toxicity of the relationship between the meat industry and farmers cannot continue.

Michael Creed was speaking as he officially opened the 2019 Tullamore Show in Offaly today.

Minister Creed delivered a message to Meat Industry Ireland ahead of the beef industry talks which are set to begin tomorrow.

"Good corporate governance, corporate social responsibility demands that we reach out, demands that they negotiate, demands that they converse with what are their critical partners in a very significant industry," said Mr Creed.

"We cannot have it as business as usual. We have to change how that conversation happens."

He said that it is critical that there is a change in the relationship between the meat industry and farming organisations and individual farmers.

"The current toxicity of relationships between them will only see us continue from one crisis to another."

IFA Presidential Candidate and National Treasurer, Tim Cullinan, also spoke at the Tullamore Show today and called for the immediate payout of the €100 million compensation package for beef and suckler farmers up to May of this year.

Mr Cullinan said that the industry was in free fall and that the €100m Brexit fund would help to put confidence back into mart sales and store prices.

"The announcement of a €100 million Brexit fund was late coming in the first place, given the scale and duration of the beef crisis, and any further delay is intolerable and unnecessary," said Mr Cullinan.

He said that it was totally unacceptable that applications for the fund were not open yet despite the fund being announced in July.

"The Department of Agriculture’s computer system has all the records and details of every farmer in the country," said Mr Cullinan.

"They know who is eligible, it just requires political will to get the money into farmers’ pockets."

He called on Minister Creed to act immediately and not to allow the compensation package to be "bogged down in red tape by Department officials".

This year's Tullamore Show is expected to welcome over 60,000 people and is Ireland's largest one-day agriculture event.

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