Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cappoquin closure signals end for Indigenous Rural Industry and serious financial consequences for many in West Waterford – Coffey

Govt inaction on food labelling and competitive challenges at heart of issue.
Fine Gael Waterford Senator Paudie Coffey has expressed his disappointment and concern at the news that Cappoquin Chickens is now facing certain closure which he said signals the Government’s failure to tackle the problems facing the industry.

“The news that Cappoquin Chickens is about to close is devastating for the 250 people who are to lose their jobs and the 50 producers and suppliers affected. This is a detrimental blow to an entire indigenous and rural industry in West Waterford that will have far reaching consequences for the economy of this area.

“Regrettably, the Cappoquin Chickens closure does not come as a huge surprise given that seven similar businesses have folded in as many years, including Grove Turkeys and Castlemahon Chickens.

“Unfortunately, the Government has failed dismally to tackle the underlying problems facing the poultry sector: spiralling feed costs, inequitable loopholes in our food labelling legislation and competition from cheap imports. The poultry industry is facing collapse as a result.

“Misleading labelling and the substantial transformation loophole are permitting cheap imports, often produced at a lower standard, to undermine Irish products. Fine Gael’s calls for tighter, stricter legislation and the introduction of a Green Ireland label has fallen on deaf ears.

Government were content to sit on their hands and watch this traditional industry go under, no amount of lip service by Government Representatives at this stage will offer comfort or hope to the workers, suppliers and businesses of West Waterford who now find themselves seriously exposed financially because of this closure.

Indigenous industries in Rural Ireland and in particular in this case, County Waterford, have been neglected and let down by this Government."

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