Beef Plan movement has revitalised farmers sense of purpose - Nolan
Independent TD Carol Nolan has said that recent protests by beef farmers and the subsequent negotiation process aimed at achieving equity for the farming community has helped to irrevocably shift the balance of power in the sector.
Deputy Nolan was speaking as talks continue between representatives from the Beef Plan Movement, Meat Industry Ireland and various farming organisations on issues surrounding the 30-month rule; the 70-day residency rule; and the four-movement rule:
“The decision to protest outside the premises of factories and suppliers was not something that most farmers wanted to see happen," Deputy Nolan said.
"They did feel however that they were pushed into it by the stubborn refusal of the supplier and retail sector to positively engage with them over a long number of years."
"We have now seen what farmers can achieve when they unite in common purpose in order to eliminate the grossly anti-competitive practices that had become embedded in the system."
"This has been a real wake-up call to the meat industry and indeed to the retailers and has put them on notice that things will never be the same again."
"Farmers will no longer tolerate receiving the loose change while others make considerable profits derived mainly from their hard work."
"I want to assure farmers that they will continue to have my full support and backing in their campaign for fair pricing and market justice."
"That is why we must now work to ensure that gains from the talks cannot be reneged on but must be ring-fenced with binding commitments from all those who entered into the process with good faith,” concluded Deputy Nolan.