ICSA president Edmond Phelan has said a convening of the Beef Taskforce must be facilitated as a matter of urgency to assess and address on-going difficulties in the beef sector as a result of Covid-19.
“It is incomprehensible that the Beef Taskforce would be left idle at a time when the beef sector is in even worse shape than ever before. In the short-term we need to understand exactly what is going on in the marketplace. While the closure of restaurants and other catering outlets across Europe is impacting, there is also strong demand in retail outlets for beef.”
“We also need to see progress on the independent studies being carried out by Grant Thornton and it is now time for an interim report at the very least.”
“However, the longer term picture needs to be thrashed out honestly. There is no future in producing beef at current prices. Is there a roadmap to paying a sustainable price?”
Mr Phelan said that Covid-19 cannot be used as an excuse to frustrate progress. “If we can’t arrange a meeting with appropriate social distancing, meetings could be facilitated by Zoom or similar video conferencing systems.”
“Now more than ever we need to see a united front to prevent irreparable damage to one of our greatest indigenous industries. We are in survival mode at present and the Beef Taskforce must show leadership in delivering a pathway forward,” he said.