farmers protest

  • 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.

  • Beef farmers are warning they'll restart their protests immediately if no progress is made in talks on Monday.

    Last night, the Beef Plan Movement called off their pickets outside meat factories - including Dawn meats in Ballyhaunis - after 12 days of protests.

    Meat Industry Ireland also agreed to suspend legal action it was threatening against the Beef Plan protesters.

    Talks will now be held on Monday to try to resolve the dispute, which is over animal prices.

    The Agriculture Minister Michael Creed says Monday's meeting will involve both Meat Industry Ireland and the Beef Plan movement, as well as representatives from the farm organisations and the Dept of Agriculture and its agencies.

    The Minster will appoint an Independent Chairperson to preside over an agreed agenda.

  • Farmers are in their fourth day of protest outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis.

    Beef Plan Movement members have been protesting at a number of factories - including Ballyhaunis since Monday - over plans to cut the suckler cow herd by half and prices being by the factories.

    Councillor’s at yesterday’s Castlebar Municipal District Meeting agreed to support the beef plan movement.

    Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne says prices have slumped so much in the beef industry that farmers are losing up to €4 million euro in a week.

  • A delegation of Chinese inspectors has failed to gain access to the Kepak meat plant in Athleague, Co Roscommon, due to a protest outside the factory.

    Inspectors have been visiting meat plants across the country to approve them as exporters to China, and are expected to visit Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis tomorrow.

    Farmers protesting outside the Ballyhaunis factory said they will not hinder the Chinese delegation.

    Efforts are continuing to find a resolution to the dispute over beef prices, as  protests at meat factories are now in their second week.

    Farmers taking part in the protests are unhappy with the price they are being paid for cattle they present for slaughter at factories.

  • As farmers continue to protest outside a number of meat plants over the prices being paid for their cattle, a Chinese delegation arrived shortly before 9am this morning to carry out an inspection at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis.

    A large number of farmers are protesting outside the factory, but made no attempt to block the Chinese visitors, who are carrying out inspections at factories across the country to approve them as exporters to China.

    Gardai were also at the scene this morning, to facilitate the visiting delegation accessing the factory.

    The farmers welcomed the delegation with two signs written in Chinese, welcoming them to Ballyhaunis but also calling for a fair price for their animals.

     

     

  • It's day 9 of the protest action by beef farmers outside a number of meat factories across the country.

    Yesterday evening, up to 200 members of the Beef Plan Movement took part in the ongoing action outside the Dawn Meats plant in Ballyhaunis, with a large number of farmers taking up position outside the gates again today - despite the inclement weather.

    Collapsing beef prices, and the poor margin the farmer is getting for their animals are among the main reasons for the protest action.

    Meanwhile, Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers says farmers picketing at the gates of the meat plants have the support of the general public and the factory workers.

    Deputy Chambers joined farmers on the protest line outside Dawn Meats yesterday.

    She told Midwest News that farmers have been backed into this position after exhausting all other avenues open to them, as their income is collapsing.

     

     

  • The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed was in Ballaghadereen this afternoon, for the official opening of a new spray dryer facility at the Aurivo Dairy Ingredients plant.

    The new dryer is a significant element in Aurivo's €48 million capital investment programme, to boost its Dairy Ingredients capacity by 55%, producing over 60,000 tonnes of milk powder for international markets and 15,000 tonnes of butter annually.

    Aurivo Co-Op now employs about 680 people, including over 150 in Ballaghadereen.

    The new spray dryer facility involved 150 construction workers working 7 days per week since last October to complete the project on time and within budget.

    Members of the Beef Plan movement staged a protest outside the Aurivo plant ahead of the Minister's arrival, to outline concerns mainly in relation to the prices farmers are getting for beef, and the challenges facing suckler farmers.

     

     

  • Farmer pickets were removed from a number of meat plants gates around the country overnight.

    Protests at factories in Ballyhaunis, Cork, and Kilkenny are the latest to end after last weekend’s agreement in the beef price row.

    Last night, pickets outside Dawn Charleville, Dawn Grannagh, Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kepak Watergrasshill ended.

    The final protesters also left ABP Cahir while Kepak Clones has indicated they're preparing to stand down over the weekend.

    In a statement, the Independent Farmers of Ireland says when added to other protests which have stood down, it's clear the majority have decided the proposal agreed last Sunday provides the best blueprint for the future.

    It adds while the proposal is not ideal, it's clear the majority feel it can provide a solid foundation for the future.

  • Farmers from across the region travelled to Co Leitrim today to protest at what they claim is an “unworkable” fodder support scheme.

    Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim farmers were all represented at the demonstration which took place at Department of Agriculture offices in Drumshanbo, with farmers calling for the immediate introduction of a meal voucher scheme for those experiencing fodder shortages.

    The protest was organised by the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association, who say the Agriculture Minister has ignored the principal recommendation of the fodder committee, which was for a meal voucher scheme.

    While the Minister did deliver a transport subsidy, its restrictive nature means it will not deliver for most farmers, according to National President Colm O’Donnell.

    He wants licenced hauliers who traditionally source quality fodder to be involved in the transport subsidy scheme, and he’s calling for a change to the 100km zone for sourcing fodder.

    The INHFA is also calling for square bales of hay and straw to be included in the scheme, and for local Agri stores to be added to the scheme where there is no Co-op in the area.

    The organisation is calling on Minister Michael Creed to reconvene the fodder action group to address the problems with the scheme designed by his Department and the co-operatives.

  • Farmers are continuing their protests outside meat factories, despite a High Court injunction banning blockades at some sites.

    The unofficial protests have been ongoing since Monday, after talks aimed at resolving the ongoing row over beef prices broke down.

    Dawn Meats, ABP, Slaney Meats and Kepak have been granted the orders, but some farmers are refusing to leave until they get better prices for their animals.

    Up to 30 farmers are protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis this morning and they are calling on farmers and the business community to get behind their plea and support their cause.

    Farmers told Midwest News this morning that their main reason for protesting stands tall, which is a better price for their cattle.

    Meanwhile, Pat O'Toole from the Irish Farmers Journal says the only way this can be resolved is if both sides get back to the negotiating table.

  • 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.

  • More than 1,000 farmers will protest outside the Dáil today against the Mercosur deal.

    Bus loads of farmers are travelling from across the West for today's protest.

    The deal would see up to 99-thousand tonnes of beef enter the EU from South America every year - leading to concerns about its impact on Ireland's beef sector.

    In the Dáil today, Sinn Féin will call for the deal to be rejected while the Beef Plan group will protest outside. 

    The organisation's David Whelehan says the trade agreement would be a disaster for beef farmers and for rural Ireland.

  • Farmers are continuing to protest outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis this morning.

    The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine has agreed to invite Minister Michael Creed and Michael Dowling, the independent talks chairman, to a meeting of the committee to discuss the dispute.

    The committee has also called for the resumption of talks between the parties, without preconditions, to be reinstated as quickly as possible.

    The committee said the talks must include retailers.

    Ballinrobe based Fianna Fail Councillor Damien Ryan says consultation is the only way forward to solve this dispute.

    Cllr. Ryan say there is too much regulation and bureaucracy in place in the beef sector.

  • Hundreds of farmers from Mayo, Galway, Sligo and Roscommon are in Dublin today to join a protest outside the Dail against the Mercosur deal.

    The trade deal would see up to 99-thousand tonnes of beef enter the EU from South America every year - leading to concerns about its impact on Ireland's beef sector.

    In the Dáil this afternoon, Sinn Féin will call for the deal to be rejected while the Beef Plan group will protest outside. 

    Conor Regan of the Mayo Beef Plan told Midwest News that the trade agreement will put further pressure on Ireland's beef farmers.

     

  • A number of farmers have staged an overnight protest outside the Dawn Meats plant in Ballyhaunis - despite the High Court yesterday granting Dawn Meats and ABP a temporary injunction against protests outside their factories.

    The High Court granted the temporary injunction yesterday, after an application by the two companies which said they had no alternative but to take the action, to protect their businesses.

    The court heard that a multi-million euro meat deal with China is under threat, because of farmer protests outside processing plants.

    Lawyers for Dawn Meats and ABP told Mr Justice Senan Allen that a Chinese delegation is due to visit the factories in the new few days to carry out inspections, with a view to increasing imports to the Chinese market, but claimed the actions of protestors could jeopardise the deal.

    The temporary injunction was granted against protests at up to a dozen meat factories, including Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis, and the proceedings were adjourned until Friday.

    However, a small group of individual farmers have spent the night protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis, and have defended their right to stage a peaceful protest in their efforts to secure a better price for their animals.

     

    Meanwhile,  Meat Industry Ireland says a challenging market is to blame for the low prices farmers are getting for their animals.

    Spokesman Cormac Healy also says Dawn Meats and ABP were left with no choice but the seek an injunction.....

     

     

     

     

  • Injunction proceedings by Dawn Meats and Liffey Meats against a number of named and unnamed protesters have been struck out.

    The request to strike out was made by lawyers for the meat companies at the High Court this morning.

    Lawyers for Dawn Meats and Liffey Meats asked the court to strike out the proceedings, which were aimed at preventing blockades at a number of meat processing plants around the country.

    Earlier this week, Dawn Meats had been granted leave of the High Court to bring a number of protesters before the court for alleged breach of court orders.

    However when the case was called this morning, the court heard that some talks had taken place and the case could be struck out.

    Meanwhile, farmers protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis intend to stay put, ahead of the resumption of talks on the beef crisis next Monday.

    The Agriculture Minister announced yesterday that he will facilitate the talks, involving the same stakeholders as the last round of talks - however, the retailers will not be present on Monday.

  • As protests continue outside a number of meat factories across the country, including Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis, a Mayo Senator has reiterated her call for the Beef Forum to be reconvened.

    It's Day 10 of protests by the Beef Plan Movement, who are mounting pickets outside up to 20 factories, in an attempt get better prices for their beef.

    Mayo FG Senator Michelle Mulherin says serious talks need to take place between farmers, meat processors and the multiple retailers, and she believes the Beef Forum is the ideal place for such dialogue, as it would also involve the Agriculture Minister, Department officials, Bord Bia and other stakeholders.

    Senator Mulherin says the lines of communication need to be reopened between the stakeholders involved to try and address the issues around pricing....

  • Mayo Senator Rose-Conway Walsh is adding her voice to calls for the immediate reconvening of the Joint Oireachtas Agriculture Committee.

    The Sinn Fein Senator says it's blatantly obvious that the current pricing model for beef is not working for farmers, and says the situation cannot be allowed to continue.

    Sinn Fein has launched a new Mandatory Beef Price Transparency Bill, which she says would provide much-needed transparency to Irish farmers regarding beef prices, through the establishment of a beef market observatory which would report on cattle prices on a daily basis.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says it's unacceptable that the substantive issue of pricing was not discussed at the last round of talks, and says it's important that Minister Michael Creed reconvenes talks between the stakeholders in the beef sector as a matter of urgency.

     

  • The organisation representing meat factories says it's extremely disappointed that efforts by the Agriculture Minister to bring together all the beef sector stakeholders was rejected last night by the Beef Plan, who refused to participate.

    Meat Industry Ireland says the protest has led to the closure of 14 meat plants nationally, while many others are operating well below capacity.

    Some companies have been forced to lay off employees, with more expected to be laid off in the coming days as operations grind to a halt.

    The industry says the protests at meat factories has increased the risk of businesses losing cstomers that they had supplied over the past 20 years, as continuity of supply is key to maintaining customers in a very competitive market.

    In a statement to Midwest News, Meat Industry Ireland says that, because of the Beef Plan protests and following its refusal to enter talks brokered by the Minister, businesses have - as a last resort - been left with no choice other than to seek legal remedy.

     

  • A new organisation has been formed to represent the farmers protesting outside meat factories over the prices they're being paid for their animals.

    Representatives from the protesting groups met in the midlands last night, and a new organisation called Independent Farmers of Ireland has been formed.

    It's understood delegates elected last night will meet with the  Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to discuss a resolution to the dispute.

    The decision came after scuffles broke out during a protest outside the Liffey Meats plant in Co Cavan, while in Co Roscommon yesterday, a delegation of Chinese inspectors failed to gain access to the Kepak plant in Athleague - inspectors have been visiting meat plants to approve them as exporters to China.

    Meat Industry Ireland says a number of meat plants across the country have ceased operations as a result of the ongoing protests by farmers.