The end of the Irish Beef Industry?


Let me guess, Fintan and his masters are getting the jitters when calculating long game political odds on the back of the Mercosur deal coupled with the likelihood of a No Deal Brexit ie there is no way that it could be spun positively for the Agri lands. In particular, strong potential exists for a rise in negative Irish sentiment toward the institutional EU.

As a result the next best option is to go on the offensive and begin the process of manipulating public opinion in opposition to the farmers and their supporters (think the public sector template from a few years back) in advance of their inevitable noisy protests. Am I close?

The day Fintan decides to get his teeth into the Irish print and broadcast media is the day I might to re-subscribe to the IT.



In fairness the Farming lobby will do themselves more harm without anyone saying boo to them. Anyone in beef country knows the industry is absolutely creaming (pardon the bovine pun) it at the moment.


Quality produce from a quality local industry :wink:


I pulled you up on this untruth on another thread on here but you have simply repeated it again.

You can easily google surveys of average beef farm incomes to show that these were approx €10k for 2018. As the price paid for beef has fallen significantly in 2019 many beef finishers will be making losses not income in 2019.

As I stated on the other thread beef farming is now basically pretty much a hobby as anyone with a mortgage or a family cannot support either by beef farming alone. That is why most beef farming families have an off farm income, or a separate income from dairy farming. or this type of farming is carried out by 70+ year old bachelors living in poor conditions who somehow survive on €10k or less per year.

And that is why there is anger on the streets re the Mercosur deal now coming on the back of a now likely no deal Brexit with tariffs that would decimate the cattle market. That is the current reality of “beef country” so I don’y know what beef country you know anything about - do you even live in Ireland?


That’s an interesting question (leaving aside the fact that beef farmers in Ireland are certainly not rich!). Also lets leave aside the environment impact of shipping food long distances around the world, the health impacts of different veterinary regimes and the importance of having local security of food supply.

Here is a different way of looking at this argument:

Do you work in IT, in financial services or in some profession such as law, medicine, etc etc?

People in Ireland in these professions earn a multiple of what people in the same professions earn in most parts of South America, Africa…

Would you be happy to have to compete with professionals from these geographies if they were allowed to freely provide their services remotely into the Irish markets, thereby driving the local rate for providing these services down to world rates?

I don’t think that you would so I don’t think that you should be asking farmers here who have to survive on an Irish cost base to compete against beef providers from the Amazon, working off a completely different cost base.

Now obviously the required protectionism for all trades and markets can be seen as unfair on developing countries, however a race to the bottom isn’t the answer either.

The ideal situation would probably be a scenario where there is one currency used throughout the world and everybody gets paid approximately the same for their labours, wherever their live, and cost bases equalise. I have no idea though how we might ever move to this Narnia though!


Exactly, Irish workers, even those on the dole are creaming it compared to the third world. Should we free market that to Oblivion too ?


I work in IT, professionals from these geographies are allowed to provide their services with few barriers, both remotely and locally. Am I happy about it, not entirely, I think we will never expand our STEM workforce to it’s potential because of this competition.


We all know how that worked out


Fact of the matter is you cannot compete with the third world unless you are willing to drop to their standard of living


Drop to their standards of professionalism also:


There are significant barriers still in the IT worker area. The large scale outsourced development and support carried out by the likes of Accenture or Wipro for end user Irish companies are charged at pretty high rates into these Irish companies, relatively speaking compared to the local market rates that the offshore workers receive. If IT developers in African, Asian or other developing world countries were completely free to provide services remotely and directly into the IT market here there would be carnage on salaries.

Anyway I hope that we can agree that completely unchecked capitalism is not a good thing and this applies to the beef industry as much as to any other.


Yes, I do agree there. Repeal of Glass Steagall being the signal example.


BBC News - Climate change: German MPs want higher meat tax


TBH it is not the first on the list in terms of the death of the beef industry in Ireland

1 - its totally uneconomical - only the income from EU subsidies are keeping most subsistence farmers going
2 - it should be on the hit list from a polluter pays view point. Green it is not (apart from the dayglo colour from artificial inputs)
3 - Beef barons
4 - Cheaper imports are gaining via various trade deals
5 - CAP reforms
6 - Brexit will be another kick to any potential
7 - lack of progress in producing beef more efficiently
im sure there is more but these are the main points without any CO2 considerations



somehow South American beef is better/less carbon intensive? Meat tax to save the environment while increasing demand for Brazilian beef/clearing the amazon rainforest?


Clearing rain forests to graze cattle in order to ship the beef to the other side of the world is the opposite of “green”.

The fact that the EU consider it a viable option simply reveals their “green” agenda for the nonsense that it is.


From wiki

The European Union (EU) is considered by some to have the most extensive environmental laws of any international organisation.[1] Its environmental policyis significantly intertwined with other international and national environmental policies. The environmental legislation of the European Union also has significant effects on those of its member states. The European Union’s environmental legislation addresses issues such as acid rain, the thinning of the ozone layer, air quality, noise pollution, waste and water pollution, and sustainable energy. The Institute for European Environmental Policy estimates the body of EU environmental law amounts to well over 500 Directives, Regulations and Decisions.

What hypocrites. This makes it look like all the EU does is fund it’s friends and pay lip service.


I would say that the recent events in Brazil will make any deal impossible. In fact with brexit around the corner, it is a perfect time to cut imports from Brazil