The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) campaign threatening to withdraw from the Quality Assurance Scheme has met with a phenomenal response at the National Ploughing Championships in County Laois this week.
“Since our stand opened on Tuesday morning, there has been a constant stream of farmers coming in to sign up,” said organisation president, Patrick Kent.
“The anger out there is palpable among beef farmers, and this was reflected in the frank exchange of views with Minister Simon Coveney at the ICSA stand. ICSA again outlined the urgent need for a regulator for the meat industry. Farmers who came in to commit to withdrawal from the Quality Assurance Scheme were also hugely supportive of ICSA’s call for such a regulator,” he continued.
Mr Kent stressed farmers want to see a successful beef export business and are committed to the highest standards.
“ICSA believes it is not too late to pull back from this campaign if there are meaningful negotiations with meat factories which address the issues which we have outlined. However, farmers cannot continue to lose money on beef, nor will they accept a Quality Assurance Scheme which is being manipulated to drive down price,” he said.