It is high time farmers dropped their action against the country’s beef processing industry, according to FTAI Ireland (FTAI), to protect the country’s intricate and interconnected supply chain.
In response to the news this week that farmers must cease all protest activity before the agreement between the farm and meat industries on beef pricing and reform can be ratified, Aidan Flynn, General Manager of FTAI comments: “As the business organisation representing all aspects of the logistics sector, FTA Ireland (FTAI) is pleading for farmers to cease all protest and blockade activity against meat processing factories immediately. The beef dispute is having a devastating impact on haulage operators, many of whom have no choice but to lay off staff to keep their businesses afloat as the disruption hits their bottom line.
“While we have always sympathised with the farmers’ cause – they want fair pricing and reform – we cannot condone bringing the beef industry to its knees, and the knock-on consequences of job losses in the haulage sector and beyond. Our members are especially irritated as the agreement reached between the meat and farm industries will see farmers get what they want: increased prices for beef and reform of the sector. We believe there is simply no justification for continuing the blockade of meat processing factories.
“With the haulage sector preparing to take on its biggest challenge in decades – the potential of a No Deal Brexit – the last thing it needs is this added complication which is diverting attention and resources. As Ireland seeks out new trading relationships and markets in a post-Brexit world, industry should be using this time to demonstrate that the agri-food sector is viable and resilient. At FTAI, we say to farmers: accept the agreement, lift the pickets and allow everyone to get back to work, otherwise the haulage industry will not recover sufficiently to handle the changing marketplace that a No Deal Brexit could bring in less than 40 days.”