beef dispute

  • Agreement's been reached between Meat Industry Ireland representatives and Farm Organisations in the beef dispute.

     

    In a statement, the Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed says the talks have ended this afternoon.

     

    They've agreed on a two strand agreement for the reform of the Irish Beef Sector.

     

    The deal involves a number of interventions, to provide immediate benefit for beef producers, as well as a range of strategic steps to address structural imbalances in the sector.

     

    The Minister says a number of actions in the area of market transparency, beef promotion and strengthening the position of the farmer in the supply chain were agreed upon.

     

    The agreement includes...

     

    An increase of 66% in the current in-spec bonus for steers and heifers from 12c/kg to 20c/kg;

     

    The introduction of a new bonus of 8c/kg for steers and heifers aged between 30 to 36 months,  which meet all non-age related existing in-spec criteria, and which up to now have not received any bonus;

     

    The introduction of a number of new bonuses and reforms.

     

    An independent Beef Market taskforce will also be established.

     

    The agreement will come into effect once blockades end outside all meat factories.

  • The Agriculture Minister has intervened in the talks in the ongoing beef dispute.

    A third day of negotiations is underway in Co Kildare, involving representatives from the Beef Plan Movement, Meat Industry Ireland, farming organisations, and Minister Michael Creed.

    The long-running dispute centres on the prices farmers are getting from the factories for their animals.

    Meanwhile, the ICSA has urged factories not to discriminate against farmers who took part in recent factory protests.

    The association says it has come to their attention that many farmers feel they are being treated less favourably by several meat processors as a direct result of their having participated in the protests, and some are even being turned away.

    The Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association says punishing farmers who engaged in peaceful protests is unacceptable.

     

  • Beef slaughtering operations remain suspended at major meat plants this evening, ahead of talks tomorrow aimed at resolving the ongoing dispute with farmers.

    Meat Industry Ireland, which pulled out of planned discussions last Monday, says it WILL attend the meeting at the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.

    Minister Michael Creed is appealing to all sides to enter the talks in good faith, claiming now is the time for people to take a step back from entrenched positions.

    The row over beef prices has seen production stopped at many factories due to blockades by farmers.

  • As protests continue at a number of meat processing plants, including Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis, Dawn Meats is considering legal action against the Chairman of the Beef Plan Movement Hugh Doyle.

    In a statement to Midwest News, Dawn Meats said this follows activity at its plant in Slane, Co Meath - in contravention of a High Court injunction and the deal agreed over the weekend to end the factory blockade.

    A legal letter has been sent to Mr Doyle and the Beef Plan movement.

    The company says it's considering legal action seeking damages for losses that may have been incurred during the blockade.

    Meanwhile, Roscommon Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy is appealing to meat processors to shift their position, in a bid to bring an end to the current beef crisis.

    Fianna Fail are bringing forward a private members motion in the Dail this evening to highlight the downward spiral in beef prices which has resulted in farmer protests, factories closing, and thousands of workers being laid off.

    Deputy Murphy believes  the processors have to move a little on their position to break the current impasse.

  • A former cabinet minister is calling for more talks to be held immediately to try to resolve the beef-farming dispute.

    Two rounds of negotiations were held recently between Beef Plan and Meat Industry Ireland, which represents factories.

    But farmers failed to secure the price increases they wanted  and unofficial protests have resumed outside some meat factories.

    Independent Roscommon TD and former environment minister Denis Naughten is calling for mediation talks to be convened immediately in an effort to find a solution.

  • Farmers are continuing to protest outside meat factories today - despite High Court actions.

    Yesterday, a judge granted a permanent injunction stopping protesters disrupting operations at certain plants.

    But several pickets are taking place again today including at Dawn Meats Plant in Ballyhaunis.

    IFA president Joe Healy says the only solution is for factories to pay farmers more for their animals.

  • Farmers protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis look likely to reject the agreement which was hammered out a lengthy beef talks over the weekend.

    They will meet in Ballyhaunis at 9pm tonight to vote on whether to accept or reject the deal, but it appears it will be rejected, as the agreement failed to address the base price they're getting for their cattle.

    Six of the country's largest farm organisations are recommending the terms of the settlement, but Independent Farmers of Ireland -set up to represent farmers at the factory gates- said they have to go back to their members to discuss the deal.

    Despite over 30 hours of talks over the weekend, and an agreement outlining increases to bonuses, an extension of age limits on cattle and the introduction of a beef task force, the farmers blockading meat plants say the deal doesn't go far enough to address their concerns over the price they're paid for their livestock.

    Pickets are continuing outside at least 16 plants this evening, and some 3,000 workers have been temporarily laid off from the factories - including several hundred in Ballyhaunis - while processing has been suspended.

  • Farmer protests are set to target supermarkets in an escalation of the row over beef prices.

    Farmer's group, Beef Plan Movement says the 'peaceful protests' will begin over the coming days, with stores such as Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu among those likely to be picketed.

    It comes as the second round of talks aimed at resolving the dispute between farmers and meat factories are due to start tomorrow.

    However, retailers won't be present, despite repeated requests from farmers that they be included.

  • Meat Industry Ireland says it's willing to resuming discussions with farmers once blockades at its processing facilities are lifted.

    However, it says the issue of price cannot be negotiated.

    Farmers resumed pickets outside factory gates this week, after previous talks broke down.

    The dispute centres around the price farmers get for delivering their animals for slaughter.

    Yesterday saw pickets continue outside up to 14 factories, despite a recent High Court injunction banning the action by protesters.

  • The Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has invited all sides in the beef dispute to separate talks this evening at the Department of Agriculture.

    It comes as the Minister is under growing pressure to get talks started to try and resolve the ongoing dispute.

    Meat factories have temporarily laid off 3,000 staff because of ongoing protests outside their planrs

    Earlier today, the IFA called on Minister Creed to get tough with the meat factories, and said this unprecedented crisis cannot go on any longer.

    Minister Creed has now invited Meat Industry Ireland and the farming organisations - including the IFA, ICSA, ICMSA, Beef Plan movement, INHFA and Macra to separate talks this evening.

  • The Agriculture Minister is being called on to fast track talks on the beef crisis. 

    Minister Michael Creed scheduled talks for Monday, which are aimed at resolving the long-running dispute.

    However, Independent Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice wants them brought forward to this afternoon. 

    He says there appears to be a real will across all sides to find a resolution, and the Minister should strike while the iron is hot.

  • As the deadlock continues in the beef dispute, some 3,000 people were temporarily laid off from meat plants across the country yesterday - including a number of workers at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis.

    Meat Industry Ireland has blamed the protests and blockades at factory gates by farmers, and has warned that further layoffs are likely in the coming days unless the protests are stood down.

    However, the Beef Plan Movement says farmers are not to blame for staff layoffs at meat factories, and says MII should not have pulled out of Monday's talks.

     

    Roscommon TD Denis Naughten is calling on IBEC - the umbrella organisation for Meat Industry Ireland, to directly intervene in the beef dispute, and ensure both it and Retail Ireland - representing the major supermarkets - get around the negotiating table before irreparable damage is caused to the beef industry.

    The Independent TD says Meat Industry Ireland's decision to walk away from talks and lock the gates will not only fail to resolve the current price impasse, but is likely to lead to farmers leaving the industry altogether, which will have long-term consequences for meat processors.

    Deputy Naughten says the situation can only be resolved around the table, and we need constructive movement from the meat industry and IBEC.

     

     

  • SIPTU has called on the Government to provide additional income supports for the thousands of workers now laid-off in factories due to the ongoing beef crisis. Up to 3000 SIPTU members, many in this region, are directly affected by the ongoing crisis at the beef plants.

    The dispute is now starting to hit consumers, as it’s impacting on supermarket shelves. Aldi has become the first retailer to confirm that it's struggling to stock Irish beef.

    SIPTU organiser Terry Bryan told Midwest News this morning that currently thousands of workers, members of the union, have been laid off and this is causing massive hardship for their families across the region.

    “These are families with bills to pay, children to feed and rent now due. Not all the workers who have been laid off will have automatic entitlement to Social Welfare payments because of the Work Permit System.

    While three thousand workers are on temporary lay-off at present, there are ten thousand workers employed in the sector so the potential for this crisis to get a lot worse is very real. This not only affects the workers and their families directly, but also the local communities, small businesses and retailers.”

    SIPTU is calling on the Government to develop a fund that will provide income support to these workers and we insist that the beef processors, as a group, should contribute to this fund to off-set the real hardship their employees are now facing”.

      The ongoing beef dispute is starting to have an impact on supermarket shelves. Aldi has become the first retailer to confirm that it's struggling to stock Irish beef. Aldi says there is now industry-wide availability issues for Irish beef.

    In order to ensure it has a full range of beef and pork products for customers, some of it's Irish suppliers have had to have their beef and pork processed at plants in the UK.

    This means that a tray of mince in your local store,may have been slaughtered in Ireland, sent to the UK to be processed and packaged and then sent back to Ireland to be sold.  

    Irish meat plants have been forced to wind down production due to ongoing protests and blockades at factories.

    Aldi says it's Irish meat products are still Bord Bia approved and where the meat has been processed will be clearly labelled on its packaging.

  • Talks aimed at resolving the ongoing beef dispute will reconvene on Monday.

    The Agriculture Minister has confirmed that he will facilitate the talks, and asked that stakeholders "engage in a spirit of compromise."

    Michael Creed added that the dispute has the potential to inflict "long term damage on the sector" if it continues.

    Meat Industry Ireland meanwhile has welcomed the new round of talks, which are aimed at ending the dispute over beef prices.

    It says that if a process of engagement can now be secured by the Minister, members will defer further legal proceedings.

    Mayo based Minister Michael Ring told Midwest News today it’s time that farmers got a fair price for their product.

  • There is pessimism today that a resolution will be found to resolve the ongoing beef dispute.

    After almost 24 hours of talks, a meeting of all farm organisations chaired by IFA president Joe Healy is now taking place.

    It includes all farm organisations including Beef Plan Movement and the Independent Farmers of Ireland group.

  • The Tánaiste is appealing to protesting beef farmers to end their blockades of beef factories across the country.

    Minister Simon Coveney says the demonstrations could cause irreversible damage to the beef sector "within days".

    It comes as fresh legal threats have been issued by Dawn Meats against the Beef Plan Movement, regarding damages for losses that may have been incurred during the protests.

    The company has also contacted Gardaí about protesters wearing masks outside some of its factories, describing it as a "sinister development".

    Speaking at the Ploughing Championships in Carlow this afternoon, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said farm families could become the casualty of the dispute: