Longford Cllr echoes calls for factories to stop ‘Covid-19 profiteering’

Kevin Forde

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Kevin Forde

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Kevin.Forde@longfordleader.ie

Cllr Paraic Brady

Cllr Paraic Brady

Local Longford councillor and farmer, Paraic Brady, has issued his support to calls from the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) for factories to stop Covid-19 profiteering. 

Westmeath farmer and ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara earlier this week called on the Government to condemn profiteering by meat factories in the midst of a massive unified national effort to push back Covid-19. 

The sheep farmer stated: “Lamb prices are being slashed by up to 50c/kg this week even though supply cannot meet demand in domestic markets.”

 “Yesterday, we had several examples of meat shelves being absolutely empty. How can the meat factories explain cutting prices when they can’t even keep lamb on the shelves in Irish stores? The difficulties in the Chinese market just don’t cut it. 

“Irish farmers have seen no benefit whatsoever to date from Chinese sales and the head of ABP recently stated that China was of very limited benefit. So, it is completely hypocritical to turn around and now use China as an excuse.”

Mr McNamara called it ‘blatant profiteering’. 

“This is blatant profiteering. There is a pent-up demand for meat in Irish stores.” he said. 

“People have to eat and prices are already low enough without this blatant profiteering. Food security was never as important, and it is high time factories showed a bit of respect to hard working farmers who cannot be done without. Now more than ever. 

“It is unacceptable to allow meat factories to drain even more money out of rural Ireland at a time when every euro is vital. Nobody can be allowed to profiteer from this, even if it takes Government legislation.”

Cllr Paraic Brady issued his full support of  the calls calling lamb price cuts nonsensical.  

He stated: “I fully support the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association in accusing meat factories of profiteering during the global health crisis.

“It makes absolutely no sense for lamb prices to be cut by up to 50c/kg when meat has never been in more demand.

“At a time when we are making a national effort to combat the COVID-19 virus, we are seeing profiteering on an unacceptable scale. The excuse that there has been disruption to the Chinese markets is not sustainable. Supply cannot meet demand in our domestic markets and prices are already low enough.

“Our farmers are vital to our food supply and they should be supported in their efforts and treated fairly.” he concluded. 

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