Thursday, 18 April 2019

Questions (226)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

226. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason farmers are not paid for the fifth quarter, that is, the remaining pieces of an animal carcase that are not used for meat production and which processors use for export business. [18290/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am very conscious of the role played by livestock farming in sustaining the rural economy and rural communities across Ireland.

I am aware of the current challenges facing beef farmers in particular, with a sustained period of low prices, following on from additional costs last year arising from the unprecedented weather events, and with significant Brexit uncertainty still overhanging the sector.

However, as Minister, I cannot intervene directly in any commodity price, including in relation to meat offals. Factory prices are a matter for the processing industry and the farmers who supply it. Cattle and other livestock prices are influenced by a variety of factors such as the level of consumer demand, production levels and exchange rate differences at any point in time.