Chambers debates solutions to Beef Crisis for Mayo farmers

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Lisa Chambers, debated solutions to the beef crisis on the back of a Fianna Fáil motion in the Dáil this week

Speaking on the motion Deputy Chambers said, “The beef crisis that we have seen in this country in recent weeks is unprecedented. Farming is in an extremely difficult place. The price of beef is unsustainable. Farmers are operating at below cost. One can buy a steak in supermarkets for €3. There is something wrong there. It is a cheap food policy and farmers are suffering as a result. With Brexit coming down the tracks and the Mercosur deal that the Government signed our country up to, farmers will be under increasing pressure for years to come”.

“We need to look at the policy at an EU level as well. If we want sustainable food produced within the European Union to feed EU citizens that is of good quality under good regulations, we need to pay for it. We cannot pursue a cheap-food policy and look to import beef from other countries that we do not need and can produce here. That is a job for this government to fight for at an EU level”.

“We have seen thousands of farmers protesting in recent weeks at factory gates. There are farmers at those gates who felt they had nothing to lose. They were at a point where they were not making money. Their farms were not viable, and they felt they had no option but to take to the picket line”.

“We heard reports from the Central Bank that if Brexit goes badly – that is a distinct possibility now – one third of farms in this country could go under. Many of those farms are sustaining rural communities right across the country. Many are in my constituency of County Mayo. If we want to sustain rural Ireland and our way of life and if we want money in local economies and farm families protected, the Government needs to act now,” concluded Deputy Chambers.