Beginning last Sunday the beef farmers were forced to protest outside the factories. The beef industry is an important domestic industry. Most of the beef is exported. This industry provides jobs tax revenue and wealth to this country. Cattle is raised on the land instead of sheds. The standards of raising cattle in relation to welfare is high in Ireland. Farmers don’t complain about these high standards. They are proud that their farming produce beef to the highest standards. They want these standards to remain. They can’t be expected to continue when the price they receive means that they are making a loss. Farmers just want price justice.
The public statements from the factories are bullying and insulting. The solution to this crisis is dialogue where both sides can win. If this present crisis continues our beef industry is in danger. I don’t want my beef to come from countries were cattle are treated poorly. I don’t want to see an important domestic export industry ruined. The present status quo can’t continue. Farmers want to farm instead of protest.
John O Brien.