Threat of further beef price protests

Further blockades of meat processing factories could be on the cards if farmers do not see an increase in the price being paid for their animals.

Sources in the industry say farmers are still very unhappy Wednesday’s Beef Forum did not address the claimed €350 difference between the price per carcass being paid to farmers in Britain, Ireland’s biggest market, and the price being paid here.

Yesterday, the executive council of the IFA met in Dublin to consider the outcome of the nine-hour long Beef Forum.

IFA president Eddie Downey said the council was satisfied that significant progress was made on the specification issues “that have bedeviled the relationship between farmers and the meat factories all year”. They included issues such as the reinstatement of the Quality Payment System, the removal of weight limits and a new Quality Assurance incentive payment for all steers and heifers from January 1. However, he said the mood among members of the council was one of deep frustration at the failure of the meat factories to pass back the stronger prices in their main market in Britain to farmers here.

“At today’s meeting, our county chairmen reflected the views of the thousands of farmers who supported our 48-hour protest this week, who are resolute in their determination that factories respond on prices,” he said.

Mr Downey said the IFA’s executive board will meet tomorrow to assess the situation and decide on the next move.

He made no mention of further protests, however, it is believed they could be considered if progress on pricing is not made.


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