Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Stanley TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture to urgently put in place plans for meat factory inspections.
Last night, Deputy Stanley raised a number of questions in the Dáil regarding concerns that public health guidelines were not being enforced correctly within the Agri-food sector and that workers were being put at risk.
Speaking today, Deputy Stanley said:
“Those who work within the Agri-food sector are essential workers providing a crucial role within our food supply chain. Their health must be protected as a priority.
“Last night, I raised concerns in the Dáil that public health guidelines were not being followed correctly and that clusters of positive Covid-19 cases were appearing in meat factories.
“I asked the Minister for Agriculture last night if a plan has been put in place for inspections of factories, how many inspections have been carried out since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and if communication lines are in place for workers who want to speak out.
“The responses I received to these questions left a lot to be answered and clarified.
“The Agri-food sector is an essential part of our supply chain and it must continue without disruption. This can, and must, be achieved without workers putting their lives at risk. A proper process for inspections and ensuring that public health guidelines are in place must form part of a response from the Department of Agriculture.
“We need to see a plan announced very quickly about how they intend to deal with these issues adequately.”