Minister writes open letter calling for farmers to end blockades at meat factories

Minister writes open letter calling for farmers to end blockades at meat factories

The Minister for Agriculture has written an open letter to protesting beef farmers asking them to end their blockades at meat factories.

It comes after farming organisations widely supported recommendations made at the weekend following talks between all sides.

In his letter Michael Creed says farmers voices have been heard "loud and clear". He also says the agreement is a compromise and nobody got everything they wanted from the weekend talks.

He adds that many farmers simply wanted an immediate price increase but it was not legally possible to have that option on the table.

Minister Creed says bonuses have been agreed on and an independent chairperson on the new Beef market taskforce will help implement all the proposals

He ends by saying everyone has a responsibility including protesting farmers who hold the future of the sector in their own hands

Meanwhile, Meat Industry Ireland have said that continuing to lock down the beef industry is not going to put it in a better place.

The majority of farmers want to accept the deal reached at the weekend, according to the group.

Many farmers want to see the base price for animals increased, which isn't allowed under competition rules.

Cormac Healy from MII says processing needs to resume at factories:

"That agreement (made at the weekend) does have significant benefits in it for beef producers," he said

"What we need to see now is a resumption of processing so that the thousands of farmers out there that have animals fit for market can actually get processing and selling them again and we see the benefits from them."

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