Previously Sinn Féin had called on the Irish Farmers’ Association “to reconsider their partitionist and negative position”, after the IFA had criticised the Irish Government for awarding a 350,000 contract to a non Bord Bia Assured chicken processing company outside the Republic [Crossgar Poultry]. Today the Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister, Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew, has accused the IFA of having a “discriminatory attitude” and has said that “[she] will be contacting Minister O’Dea to clarify his position on this matter and to ensure that all the appropriate EU regulations to this issue will be upheld.” What did the IFA say to deserve such treatment..
[IFA Deputy President] Derek Deane said the Minister [Willie O’Dea] now has a clear understanding of the difficulties that the Governments 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.
IFA Poultry Chairman Ned Morrissey said “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.” “How can we expect retailers and food companies to give shelf space to Irish produce if our own Government does not lead by example and support Quality Assured Irish product?” he concluded.
If only we were more Enlightened..