Monday, March 4, 2013

"Don't jeopardise the Irish agricultural industry"

While the European horsemeat crisis has been a nightmare for food producers, think about the farmers at the bottom of the chain. In order to produce beef they jump through regulatory hoops, multiple farm inspections and face loss of income if their product isn't up to scratch.

In the past weeks we've seen some beef processors and traders in Ireland, the UK and across Europe show two fingers to both consumers and farmers. In this short video from RTE News, farmer Donal Murphy speaks out against the damage the horsemeat scandal has done to farmers and Ireland's food producing reputation.

Donal farms suckler cows in Dunhill County Waterford; a small business where his herd of heifers and cows produce young stock every year that end up on consumer's plates. His affection and love for his stock and for farming is remarkable. It underlines again how upside-down the system is. The operator closest to the consumer - the retailers earn the most money from beef. They divvy up the price between them and the big processors in ways that are transparent to nobody. At the bottom of the pile is the person that spends up to two years with the animal itself - the farmer. Please view and share, it's rare and regrettable to see such passion for farming, and tears.