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Protests at Some Meat Plants set to Resume as Beef Plan Movement Rejects Deal

The Beef Plan Movement has rejected the deal hammered out between farmers and industry representatives.

It says it doesn’t go far enough to deal with real pricing control measures that factories and retailers put on farmers.

The agreement reached last week had dealt with some key issues, however farmers had expressed their disappointment that pricing wasn’t addressed.

Protests are set to take place today at some meat plants in relation to the issue, however the Beef Plan Movement is not endorsing those demonstrations.

It’s understood that today’s farmer action includes plants at Grannagh & Ferrybank in South Kilkenny, while farmers in Hackettstown are also due out.

Meanwhile Meat Industry Ireland has issued the following statement:

“It is very disappointing that protests have resumed at a small number of beef processing sites since yesterday afternoon. Significant efforts have been made in talks between processors and farm organisations over the last fortnight; progress was made on a number of issues raised by farm representatives as well as agreement for ongoing work on several other areas which, if allowed to conclude, should be positive for beef producers. Protests should not pre-empt the outcomes of this work and neither should they undermine it.

Obviously beef price remains a major talking point since the conclusions of the beef talks last week but beef price was not and could not be discussed during these talks. Furthermore, price is determined by conditions in the market at present which are acknowledged by all as being extremely challenging. There simply isn’t more in the marketplace right now. Shooting the messenger by targeting processors will not solve the problems that the sector faces at present.

Peaceful protest is a right of all, but any disruption of normal processing activity which impacts businesses, staff and farmer suppliers is unacceptable and will only do further damage in an already difficult trading environment. Furthermore, the week ahead sees the commencement of a round of important processing plant inspections by a Chinese official delegation with a view to approving more beef plants for export to China. This is a positive for the entire sector, and any plant disruptions should not be turned into an “own goal”.”