Putting support in jeopardy: Chinese trade mission blocked

Putting support in jeopardy: Chinese trade mission blocked

It is easy to empathise with beef producers who have not had a meaningful increase in income in many years. One of the arguments advanced in the current campaign is that farmers get more or less the same for their beef animals today that they got two decades ago. This is unsustainable and unless primary producers get a bigger slice of the cake then the future of Irish beef production must come into question.

Beef farmers may imagine themselves unique but they are not — many workers struggle to build pay levels back to where they were before the crash of 2008. Farmers are unique though in that they have a Government minister to argue their case and can secure regular lifeline funds — the most recent was €100m to the sector. No other group can expect such regular largesse. Farmers may imagine that kind of taxpayer support can be relied on permanently. That seems optimistic for many reasons. Suggesting that is not anti-farmer — as it would undoubtedly be depicted — but just a recognition of how our world is changing.

Beef protestors yesterday blocked a Chinese trade mission at a meat plant in Roscommon. The visit, years in the making, might have endorsed the plant as a source of beef for China. Whether that might now happen is an open question. A huge opportunity has been jeopardised and chance to create jobs put in question. By this kind of intervention farmers weaken their hand and risk losing the support their campaign enjoys.

More on this topic

Beef protests continue outside meat factoriesBeef protests continue outside meat factories

'Farmers can't take anymore': Cork farmers protest outside meat plant'Farmers can't take anymore': Cork farmers protest outside meat plant

Farmers' tractor protests cause travel chaosFarmers' tractor protests cause travel chaos

IFA chief criticises Mandelson

More in this Section

Dublin is no longer merely a countyDublin is no longer merely a county

#RWC2019: Euphoria and despair will meet in Japan#RWC2019: Euphoria and despair will meet in Japan

Climate Change: How many climate warnings do we need?Climate Change: How many climate warnings do we need?

Jim Daly: A hard career choiceJim Daly: A hard career choice


Lifestyle

For an instant supper or lunch, fishcakes can be nourishing, warming and tasty. To complete a balanced meal, all it takes is some stirfried or roasted root vegetables.Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

My seven-year-old stood tall, whispered “bravery” to herself and stepped into the pitch-black dungeon. I stood there and watched her disappear.Learner Dad: I hate nostalgia, I think it’s mawkish and sentimental

Dr Phil Kieran says head lice is incredibly common among school children and offers practical advice on how to remove the crawlers with easy treatments.Tackling head lice: Easy treatments to remove itchy creepers

Gráinne Healy only started running regularly a few years ago. She’s already completed 50 parkruns. She tells Rowena Walsh what motivates her.Ageing with Attitude: Parkruns and quiet Friday nights

More From The Irish Examiner