Beef farmers voice dissatisfaction at deal

Kevin Forde

Reporter:

Kevin Forde

Email:

kevin.forde@longfordleader.ie

File Photo

File Photo

Ireland's beef farmers are continuing protests at many meat factories throughout the country, including Kepak Ballymahon, despite a deal being agreed between major stakeholders during crunch talks over the weekend.

Minister Creed confirmed the deal on Sunday, September 15, which includes increased bonuses for farmers. It was agreed that Meat Industry Ireland (MII) would drop all legal actions against protestors, if farmers agreed to end pickets at factories.

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However, many farmers are rejecting the deal calling it ‘unacceptable’, before vowing to continue protests at factories and meat processing plants until a more acceptable deal is found. 

The protests at C&D Foods in Edgeworthstown, however, have been temporarily suspended on the condition that injunctions against Longford Cllr Paraic Brady and Colm Leonard of Aughanoran, Dring, Co Longford, are lifted. 

Speaking on RTÉ radio one on Monday morning, September 16, Hugh Doyle of the Beef plan movement said farmers feel abandoned by the deal. However, he called the agreement ‘a starting point’ for farmers and called on stakeholders involved to take a step back in order to find "some sort of middle-ground". 

Also read: Edgeworthstown firm says more than 600 jobs at risk over 'illegal' beef blockades

RTÉ’s agriculture and consumer affairs correspondent, Fran McNulty, confirmed the general rejection of the deal by farmers and says the focus is now shifting to local negotiations on base price for cattle. 

“Things are now worse than ever.” he tweeted. 

Many farmers have issued a call for a base price of €3.80/kg, saying if they received this they would cease protests.