IFA: Further talks 'a waste of time' until beef prices are addressed

IFA: Further talks 'a waste of time' until beef prices are addressed

Latest: Attempts to reconvene talks on the beef crisis would be a waste of time if the issue of pricing is not addressed, according to the Irish Farmers Association (IFA).

Unofficial protests at meat processing plants have resumed with farmers angry that three days of talks last week failed to deal with the issue.

IFA President Joe Healy says factories should move to increase prices now.

"Reconvening talks without price being on the table, without us being able to talk about price are a waste of time," said Mr Healy.

"We had three days of that which were ultimately a waste of time.

"You talk to any farmer on the ground and what he or she is worried about is what price they're getting for their beef and that is way too low at the present time."

Farmer's margin of retail price of beef reducing year-on-year, TD says

IFA: Further talks 'a waste of time' until beef prices are addressed

Update 8.50am: A farmer's margin of the retail price of livestock has decreased by a quarter over the past 15 years, according to a former minister.

Denis Naughten's comments come as farmers intensify their picketing outside meat factories today.

Talks were held recently to try to resolve the dispute but farmers failed to secure the price increases they wanted.

"This issue can only be resolved around the table and I think that it is important that we get back to talks," said Deputy Naughten.

"The comments by Meat Industry Ireland suggested that farmers were getting 63% of the retail price of beef is very unhelpful.

"The reality is that the margin that farmers are getting is reducing year-on-year.

"In the last 15 years, the farmers' margin has reduced by a quarter."

Mr Naughten said that the groups involved in the talks should be expanded saying that the supermarkets have a role to play.

"Irish shoppers need to be represented as well and we need to put a structure in place that provides a sustainable economic future for Irish beef production."

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