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

Mick Clifford podcast: Whistleblowers in Irish society and righting the wrongs from within  Mick Clifford podcast: Whistleblowers in Irish society and righting the wrongs from within

Boris Johnson's Brexit deal: what's in it and how is it different to Theresa May's version?Boris Johnson's Brexit deal: what's in it and how is it different to Theresa May's version?

Will Facebook’s new currency be stopped in its tracks?Will Facebook’s new currency be stopped in its tracks?

What will water bottles be made of in future?What will water bottles be made of in future?


Lifestyle

Mountaintop monasteries, vicious-looking vultures, and a seriously impressive cable car.As Ryanair launches flights to Armenia, here’s why it deserves to be your next holiday destination

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra played a storming gig at Cork Opera House, writes Des O'Driscoll Live Music Review: Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

Concerns about people’s ability to access their own money have been growing – here’s what the debate is all about.Are we actually going to end up as a cashless society?

Everything entertainment you need to look out forScene & Heard: Everything entertainment you need to look out for

More From The Irish Examiner