Thursday, 21 May 2020
Outbreaks of Covid-19 in Meat Processing Plants: Statements
Michael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
I will be brief in replying. On the power of the beef sector, we have taken specific actions to try to redress the balance. The Deputy might be aware that we have been advocating for and have successfully established a number of producer organisations, for example. The constant refrain regarding the beef sector has been that when an individual farmer rocks up outside a meat plant, he is a price taker. We have been trying to sustain and financially support beef farmers in establishing producer organisations in order that they can work together collectively and, thereby, secure a better price by being able to have a critical mass in the marketplace. That is a relatively new phenomenon. It is not a panacea but they are part of the architecture in most other European countries and they deliver greater balance to farmers in an equation that has probably been unfairly tilted against them.