March 24, 2023
MacManus raises farmers’ concerns with Irish processors

MacManus raises farmers’ concerns with Irish processors
 
Chris MacManus MEP raises Irish farmers’ grievances on fair pricing, Brexit, Mercosur, and environmental permitting with Irish processors
 
Chris MacManus, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest, has met with members of an IBEC delegation to the European Parliament consisting of representatives from Meat Industry Ireland, Drinks Ireland, Food Drink Ireland and Dairy Industry Ireland. In the meeting MacManus raised the looming EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement and its likely impact on Irish farmers. The Midlands Northwest MEP also raised the plights facing farmers and the issues with prices, that processors are quoting them for the produce.  Additionally MacManus briefed the delegation on the Windsor Framework Agreement.
 
Speaking after the engagement MacManus said: “This week I met with Irish processor representatives in the European Parliament who were part of a visiting IBEC delegation. As a member of the parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, I speak with farmers on a daily basis as part my work. In speaking to these processors I have clearly highlighted the legitimate grievances and challenges facing the entirety of the Irish farming sector. Between high input costs, over-inflation, increased bureaucratic burdens and low prices for their produce, we are looking at a perfect storm that is making a bad crisis worse.”
 
“I am concerned that the cumulative impacts facing Irish farmers are getting worse. The prices Irish farmers are getting for their produce by Irish processors and retailers needs be urgently addressed. Whether it’s the current cuts to milk prices or the crisis in the sheep farming sector, there is a feeling across the board with our farmers that they are being exploited on prices to maximise the profits of processors.”
 
MEP MacManus also informed the delegation of ongoing developments relating to the Windsor Framework.  “I also briefed the representatives present on the situation in the north of Ireland concerning the Windsor Framework Agreement, and how vital it is that the DUP ends their deeply unpopular blockade of the Stormont Executive to avoid power-sharing under a Sinn Féin First Minister. A stable executive and the restoration of power-sharing is highly beneficial for the wider all-Ireland economy.”
 
“On the Industrial Emissions Directive, the Council recently sought to amend the Industrial Emissions Directive to change the requirement for an environment permit for specific farms under this directive to be increased from 150 livestock units to 350 livestock units. This is a step in the right direction as it limits the scope for industrial farm units. This is a step in the right direction, which I have been calling for some time.”
 
“We also held a brief discussionregarding the EU-Mercosur Agreement. Irish farmers cannot be sacrificed at the altar of the EU’s free trade agenda by allowing cheap South American meat on the EU market en-masse.  We already know that the Mercosur deal would allow for an additional 99,000t of beef at least. This simply cannot happen. Especially considering that Irish farmers comply with far more stringent environmental and climate standards by comparison, and at higher input and administrative costs.”
 
“It is important that processors support the producers in preventing any free trade agreement that puts Irish farmers in further jeopardy. I urge Minister McConologue to clarify his and the government’s position on Mercosur. The farmers of Ireland need guarantees”. ENDS

Chris MacManus MEP meeting with members of an IBEC delegation to the European Parliament this week

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