Thursday, 18 February 2021

Questions (318)

Cathal Crowe


318. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason the quotes and prices for cattle has fallen in factories after extra funding being allocated to them to offset the impact of Covid-19; and the steps that can be taken to address the issue. [9052/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As the Deputy will be aware, prices for beef and other commodities is a commercial matter which neither I, as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine nor my Department, have any role in determining.

I am acutely aware of the recent price volatility in the beef sector and I am conscious that the beef sector is particularly exposed to factors such as COVID, given its reliance on external trade and the food service and hospitality markets.

My Department and I are working to ensure that business and services to farmers can continue, keeping food and other processing facilities operational, ensuring that payments and commercial activities that are necessary to protect farm incomes can continue. My Department is also working actively to ensure that Irish beef has access to as many high value markets as possible.

The nature of all markets is that the price will fluctuate especially in the case of market disturbance, as has been evidenced during the COVID-19 crisis and that caused by uncertainty surrounding Brexit. My Department provides a range of financial aids to support beef farm incomes and to support economic and environmental efficiency.