The use of Irish beef by McDonald's is worth an estimated €400m to the industry.
ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham has called for the immediate introduction of market support measures such as Aids to Private Storage (APS) or intervention in light of the decision by McDonald’s to close all outlets in Ireland and the UK with immediate effect due to Covid-19.
He stated: “In these extraordinary times, it is absolutely vital that we do everything possible to keep cattle farmers in business.
"Cattle farmers are already extremely vulnerable, and we need to immediately re-set the intervention reference price to ensure price does not drop below current levels.”
ICSA recognises that many sectors are badly impacted by Covid-19. However, they say it is critical to understand that farmers are now more vital than ever and are already struggling to stay going at current beef prices. The closure of McDonald’s represents a loss of over 3,000 tons of beef per month, much of which goes to UK outlets as well as Irish outlets.
Mr Graham said: “However, there is increased demand for beef on supermarket shelves and that could support beef price.
"This is not a time for gambling and the introduction of market support measures is vital to keep price stable.”
ICSA has contacted the Minister and is urgently requesting this to be top of the agenda for the virtual meeting of EU agriculture ministers which is taking place this Wednesday (March 25). We cannot prevaricate at a time when food supply and security is so vital.