Major doubt hangs over a major deal between farmers and meat processors as independent farmers said they had agreed to nothing.
Farmers will see an immediate increase in the price they receive for their cattle following the deal with meat producers, agreed yesterday.
After 36 hours of intense negotiations, a tentative deal between farmers and meat processors was agreed Sunday in talks convened by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.
However, despite the agreement being reached, the Independent Farmers of Ireland later said they could not “accept or reject these proposals”.
“Despite reports in the media that this document was signed off by all parties, these reports are not true,” said the group.
Initial reaction from factory gates across the country was not positive, with many farmers expressing disappointment and anger that nothing has been delivered to improve the base price of cattle.The deal was struck between
Meat Industry Ireland, the beef producer’s representative body; the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA); the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA); Macra na Feirme; the Independent Farmers Organisation of Ireland; the Beef Plan Movement and the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association.
Under the deal, beef producers farmers will immediately benefit from increased prices for cattle they sell.
Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman Charlie McConologue told the Irish Examiner:
“This agreement needs to be the start of a very necessary rebalancing in the beef supply chain in order to ensure that farmers get fair play and that there is price transparency in our beef sector.”