Distrust of processors still a big problem, farmers' group says

Gerard Gough participated in the talks convened by the Minister for Agriculture at the weekend and brought the resultant deal to picketing farmers in Ballyhaunis.

Distrust of processors still a big problem, farmers' group says

A representative for Independent Farmers for Ireland, one of the organisations representing independent farmers picketing beef processing plants, has warned that the distrust between farmers and processors is the biggest problem in the current dispute

Gerard Gough participated in the talks convened by the Minister for Agriculture at the weekend and brought the resultant deal to picketing farmers in Ballyhaunis.

“I could neither accept nor reject the deal,” he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show. His duty was to bring it to the farmers despite efforts to bully us into the corner.”

I said this is the document. On a personal level I think there’s some good points in it. The biggest problem is the fear factor, the distrust towards Meat Industry Ireland.

Mr Gough said he did not understand why Meat Industry Ireland did not come to the table to discuss the issue face-to-face with the farmers.

“Why didn’t they come around the table? What are they afraid of?”

One of the positive aspects of the deal brokered at the weekend was “a little crack” in the 30-36 month rule. “It’s a start. It’s positive, we want to see any little move on the base price.

“We have to see can the factories commit to give a little bit more.”

Farmers are afraid of the base price falling back down to €3.30 to €3.20 with the threat of Brexit.

Farmers feel they can’t trust the factories.

Mr Gough said his personal opinion was that the deal should be studied “a little bit more” and “we can go forward from there".

“My personal view would be to come off the picket.”

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