Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1463)

Brendan Smith

Question:

1463. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if talks will be convened with farming organisations, representatives of the meat industry and retailers in view of the ongoing serious difficulties facing the beef sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36903/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I share the Deputy's concerns about the ongoing serious difficulties facing the beef sector.

There has been significant engagement with stakeholders throughout the duration of this dispute and I believe that there is now a basis for the renewal of talks between the parties. These talks have been scheduled for next Monday 9th September.

We have reached a point where it is critically important for the future of the sector that stakeholders engage in a spirit of compromise to resolve a dispute that has the potential to inflict long term damage on the sector if it continues. It is clear that this can only happen if processors and protestors step back from court proceedings and illegal blockades, in order to allow space for meaningful talks to proceed.