Chinese delegation visit Roscommon meat plant after agreement between sides in beef protests

Chinese delegation visit Roscommon meat plant after agreement between sides in beef protests
Farmers protesting outside a meat plant last week.

A Chinese delegation has visited a meat plant in Co. Roscommon.

An agreement was reached late last night between farmers and management of Kepak Athleague to facilitate the audit.

The visit had initially been scheduled for Monday but was cancelled.

Roscommon farmer Eoghan Mullooly, who has been protesting at Athleague, said the protest will continue.

Mr Mullooly said: "We want this resolved, we don't want to be outside the gate. Every man that is up there has something else to be at besides walking in a circle outside a gate.

"And I'm quite sure that the factories, Kepak and all the rest of them, want this resolved as well, but this is up to Minister Creed getting them all together, getting off his backside and getting them around the table and coming to a resolution."

The Agriculture Committee will today meet to discuss the ongoing beef dispute and try to find a solution to the crisis.

Michael Dowling, who is the chair of the talks aimed at resolving the dispute, is expected to appear before the committee.

Eddie Punch, General Secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association, said farmers are just trying to survive.

Mr Punch said: "It is time now for both supermarkets and processors to realise the model that they have had for many years where they continue to squeeze farmers is now reaching an unsustainable point.

"And the fact that you have farmers outside meat factories protesting, you can't blame them, they are desperate to try and survive."


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