Meat processors handed ultimatum by Irish farmers

Meat processors handed ultimatum by Irish farmers

The Irish Farmers Association says meat processors only have "days" to respond to their demands on beef prices.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney met both sides yesterday to discuss the dispute, which stems from the shortfall in price between Ireland and the UK.

Processors and farmers have agreed to hold two weeks of "intensive" discussions - in a bid to end the row which saw factories blockaded on Monday.

Henry Burns, chairman of the IFA's National Livestock Community, said that yesterday's meeting did not clarify where the beef industry stood on the price difference.

"They didn't give any indication what they were doing on price," he said.

"We'll only know in the next day or two if there is a positive response on price and we'll have to judge that.

"But one thing was clear from 15,000 farmers - that they need to see that gap closing.

"There's an opportunity now for the meat plants to do something on closing the gap on price. We'll only know that in the next number of days."

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