ICMSA Say McDonald’s Closures Underlines Need For Market Disruption Measures

The President of ICMSA said the decision by McDonald’s to close their chain of restaurants was not entirely unexpected and as the full extent of the total cessation of wider economic activity in Europe becomes evident, the EU Commission will be in a better place to judge where their support would be best directed and most efficient.  Pat McCormack went on to say that measures are required immediately to support food producers through the market disruption caused by Covid-19 and he said that while the McDonald’s decision is “perfectly understandable” from a public health standpoint, there was equally no denying the potentially serious impact on food supply chains.

Mr. McCormack said that his Association had already listed specific measures that must be accepted and implemented speedily, including Private Storage Aid (PSA), priority status at borders points for food products, low interest loans and direct farmer support.   It was vital to realise, he added, that the overall consumption of food products, including dairy and beef, had not decreased by any serious metric but rather, the normal food services chain by which the produce was supplied and consumed had simply seized-up with a massive switch to retail and food consumed at home.

“ICMSA is very conscious of the health problems that will be the Government’s overriding concern right now – and we share their priorities.  However, attention must also be devoted to the question of getting the key elements of our economy through what will be difficult weeks – God forbid, months.  The McDonald’s decision also underlines the absolute primacy of the need to keep our food supply-chains working smoothly delivering high quality food to EU consumer at this critical time. We have to realise that apart from the frontline workers like medical and Gardai, the next most important category are those producing and supplying our food and that means, principally, the farmers, workers in food processing and food retailers”, said the ICMSA President.

Covid-19 has led to a serious market disruption in food markets and in the context where preserving and indeed streamlining that is desirable then ICMSA wants the EU to act immediately to support the food supply-chain and ensure the supply and distribution of high quality food through the active support of those farmers and companies impacted by the serious market disruption, concluded Mr. McCormack.

Ends       23 March 2020

Pat McCormack, 087-7608958

President, ICMSA.

Or

Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office