Irelands’ Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea gave a commitment to an IFA delegation led by Deputy President Derek Deane that the Government would look at supporting Irish produce in future tenders.
He met the delegation following a recent IFA poultry growers’ protest outside the Department of Defence, over the government’s policy of sourcing chicken for the Defence Forces from a non-Quality Assured processor outside the Republic.
“IFA strongly impressed upon Minister O’Dea that Quality Assured producers should not be at a disadvantage in the government tendering process, and the Minister agreed with this,” said Deane.
It was also pointed out to the Minister that labour costs in Ireland are uncompetitive when compared with those of Northern Ireland.
“The Minister now has a clear understanding of the difficulties that the government’s tendering policy is creating for Quality Assured poultry producers. He and his Cabinet colleagues must take immediate action to redress this situation and defend Irish jobs,” continued Deane.
IFA Poultry Chairman Ned Morrissey: “This recent decision not to support indigenous Irish business shows that the Irish Government and their officials are out of touch with the challenges of the poultry sector at this time. Surely when jobs are being lost all over the country, it is more important than ever that those in power lead by example and support indigenous production. Poultry meat in this country is produced to the highest standards and is responsible for over 2,500 jobs between production, processing and subsidiary industries.”
Source: The Irish Farmer Association