Beef Plan Movement

  • 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 says he hopes progress can be made at talks between farming stakeholders tomorrow.

    Members of the Beef Plan Movement and Meat Industry Ireland will be among those attending, in their dispute over animal prices.

    Michael Creed says the discussions are important as the toxic relationship between the Meat Industry and Irish farmers can't continue.

  • There's a call on the Agriculture Minister to use all resources available at today's talks to resolve the beef dispute.

    The Beef Plan Movement is making the call as it prepares to enter face to face negotiations with Meat Industry Ireland.

    Many factories have stopped production due to picketing by farmers who are unhappy over prices for their meat.

  • The Beef Plan Movement is holding a number of what it describes as 'peaceful protests' outside meat factories this week as it calls on members to not trade today (Monday).

    Farmers protested outside ABP Bandon yesterday and are outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunisis since 7am this morning protesting, with more protests planned outside Kepak Athleague, Kepak Kilbeggan and Liffey Meats Ballinasloe.

    It comes after the group staged a protest outside Aurivo in Ballaghaderreen on Friday last when the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed was attending the official opening of Aurivo's new dryer.

    Two weeks on from the Beef Plan's protest outside Leinster House in Dublin, it says there has been "no attempt or correspondence from the Minister or his Department".

    The group is calling on farmers to show support for the protests by joining the protest lines and not trading today with co-ops, marts, or factories.

    However, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has today announced details of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM). This measure will be funded by a combination of EU exceptional aid and Exchequer support, provided in light of the difficult circumstances that Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and uncertainty arising out of Brexit.

    The Minister says he is keenly aware that the past few months have been very difficult for beef farmers. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.”

    BEAM will provide financial aid to Irish beef farmers and is targeted towards those farmers most affected. BEAM is also designed to meet the requirements set out by the Commission, including granting support to farmers engaging in actions which enhance their long-term resilience and sustainability.

    It is a demand-led, voluntary scheme. Farmers who meet the initial eligibility criteria will then have to commit to meeting a number of conditions in order to qualify for aid.

    BEAM will open for applications during the third week of August 2019. Applications will be accepted online through AgFood.ie.

     

     

  • Spokesperson for the Beef Plan Movement says its about more than fighting for an increase in the price of cattle.

    Vice-chair of the Western Region, David Whelehan, said that the movement’s goals stretch far beyond the price of cattle.

    He cited anti-competitive practices in the industry and unfair practices as major issues for farmers that must be resolved at any beef talks or summits.

    Midwest Radio News spoke with a representative of the movement protesting outside Dawn Meats Ballyhaunis, who said the movement would not end with just an increase in beef prices.

     

  • Beef farmers across Ireland will refuse to trade tomorrow to protest against plans to reduce the national herd.

    This week, the Climate Change Advisory Committee recommended cutting cattle numbers by 53 per cent, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Members of the Beef Plan Movement will refuse to trade tomorrow, as a sign of protest.

    David Whelehan, one of the organisers, says the ban will apply to all co-ops, supermarkets, marts and factories.

  • Farmers who are members of the Beef Plan movement are continuing their protest outside a number of meat factories, with upwards on 30 farmers remaining outside Dawn Meats, Ballyhaunis overnight.

    The protests have continued throughout the country this morning and are expected to continue indefinitely.

    Protesters are aggrieved at collapsing beef prices as well as a reduction in the national herd under climate change regulations.

    The protesters have called on Cormac Healy, of Meat Industry Ireland, to engage with the Beef Plan Movement in a 'proper structured manner.'

  • 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.

  • Protesters at the Kepak meat factory in Athleague Co Roscommon have blockaded a truck leaving the factory.

    RTÉ News reports they obtained video footage that shows some protesters with their heads and faces covered, while one person is seen wearing a balaclava.

    The incident occurred this morning as three refrigerated lorries were leaving the facility.

    Protesters stopped the third lorry leaving the plant.

    Gardaí arrived at the scene earlier this afternoon and spoke to the protesters.

    A High Court order granted earlier this week prohibits such activity taking place outside meat plants.

  • It’s Day 5 of a continuous protest by farmers in Beef Plan Movement outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis.

    Beef Plan Movement members have been protesting at a number of factories around the country since Monday morning last, over plans to cut the suckler cow herd by half and the prices being paid by the factories for beef.

    Last night there were up to 200 farmers on the protest line outside the gate’s of Dawn Meat.

    This morning, there are about 60 farmers all resolved to remain on the protest line until they say they get “a better deal”.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary has this morning called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to immediately intervene in this dispute and to bring all sides to the table.

     

  • The control of the beef sector is in the hands of too few and needs more competition – that’s the view of Supermac’s head, Pat McDonagh.

    As reported by the Irish Independent, Galway man Pat McDonagh, whose restaurant chain buys around 30,000 tonnes of Irish meat every week, said there are too few in charge of the beef sector.

    Talks between farming organisations and the meat factories are set to resume on Monday and Mr McDonagh called on farmers to get more control of their destiny.

    Some factories have cut the price offered to €3.45 per killogramme, with farmers saying they need at least €4 to break even.

    The Supermac’s head said current beef prices are not all about Brexit or sterling weakness, but about factories’ margins.

    The continuing talks between the farming organisations and meat processors come after the Beef Plan Movement called off a two-week protest outside meat factories, including Dawn Meats Ballyhaunis.

    The Beef Plan Movement has called for a ‘fair share of the retail margin.’

  • 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.

  • A number of meat factories have been forced to lay off staff temporarily as the Beef Plan protest enters its 12th day.

    Meat Industry Ireland has confirmed that nine meat factories have stopped working and some of these plants have temporarily laid off staff.

    The farmers are taking the action because of the collapse in the prices that they are securing from factories for their produce.

    Some workers have been temporarily laid off from three Dawn Meats factories.

    Midwest News understands that Up to 200  staff at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis were yesterday informed by the company that they are laid off from today "for the forseeable future". They are employed in beef processing. At a meeting yesterday with management staff were informed that the company had no option but to lay them off, as the beef kill at the plant has been suspended since last week.

    It's understood that sheep processing is continuing at the Ballyhaunis plant.

    The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is appealing to members of the Beef Plan movement to accept his invitation and to enter into talks to resolve the ongoing protests outside the factories.

    The chairman of the Beef Plan Movement in Sligo Gerry Pilkington is protesting at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis he told Midwest News today that the lay offs are unfortunate and regretable  but farmers are refusing to suspend their protests before going into any talks.

    They are refusing to enter talks with this precondition set down by the Minister, he explained, on the grounds that if they do, their position will be weakened further.