Meat Industry Ireland

  • 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.

  • 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.'

  • 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.

  • High Court actions taken by a number of meat factories against protesting beef farmers have been discontinued, court documents lodged last week show.

    Other factories are expected to end their pursuit of legal remedies in the coming days and weeks.

    The Irish Independent reports that two processors, Kepak and Anglo Beef Processing Ireland, have both filed a Notice of Discontinuance in their High Court proceedings against farmers after protests at their factories ended last week.

    They were two of a number of factories nationwide which sought legal action after protests disrupted meat production at their plants, leading to thousands of people being laid off work.

    The protests at factory gates were stood down last week following marathon talks at the Department of Agriculture between processors and farmers' groups.

    The agreement will see increased prices for beef farmers and reform of the sector but was due to come into effect once all protests ended.

  • 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.

     

  • Meat Industry Ireland has pulled out of today's talks aimed at resolving the dispute between farmers and meat factories over beef prices.

    The group says it has pulled out of talks until all illegal blockades outside meat factories have been lifted.

    Farmers are continuing to  protest at some 20 meat processing plants across the country - which represent 80% of processing capacity.

    Meat Industry Ireland has expressed frustration at the refusal of protesters to respond to the Agriculture  Minister's call to step back while talks resume.

    The ICSA has called on Meat Industry Ireland to reconsider its decision to abstain from the talks, saying the onus is on the processors to come to the talks and bring real offers to the table, as farmers cannot survive at current prices, which are well below the cost of production.

    Macra na Feirme has also expressed disappointment the MII has withdrawn from the talks, and says it puts the future of the entire beef sector at risk as no progress can be made in the absence of the meat industry representatives.

     

  • 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.

  • Commenting on recent claims in relation to the share of retail beef price received by producers, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has issued a statement to Midwest News saying “It is important to set the record straight on this issue.  Suggestions that farmers receive 20% of every €10 spent by consumers of beef in retail outlets are inaccurate.  In fact, the producer share of retail beef prices is closer to two-thirds.”

    Meat Industry Ireland’s statement goes on to state that “based on independently published data on Irish retail sales prices, on the mix of beef cuts purchased by Irish consumers and the yield factors involved, the actual price paid to beef producers represents 63% of the average retail beef price on a carcase weight equivalent basis. This can be independently verified.”

    “The same pattern of producer share of retail market price is evident in other EU markets where Irish beef sales predominate (UK; Germany; France; Holland).” 

    The statement concludes, “Independent commentators recognise that there is a very weak beef market, primarily caused by a very poor demand, across all major export markets as well as the uncertainty created by the risk of a No-Deal Brexit in two months.  While no one disputes that current market returns have driven cattle prices to a 5-year low, inaccurate statements on share of return from the marketplace do not help to resolve the critical challenges faced by the entire beef sector.”

     

     

  • The Agriculture Minister is urging Meat Industry Ireland to reflect on their decision to withdraw from beef talks.

    Talks between all stakeholders involved were due to resume yesterday but MII pulled out because farmers continue to protest at processing plants.

    Meat Industry Ireland says the blockades are forcing some factories to close indefinitely, and says lay-offs will result.

    Minister Michael Creed expressed disappointment at the failure of both sides to meet yesterday evening, and has urged all parties to engage in a positive way for try and resolve the current impasse.

    Minister Creed says it's essential that MII engages with farmers.

    Meanwhile, farmers protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis today say they will stay put, despite demands from Meat Industry Ireland to step away from the factory protests.

  • Protests at meat factories across the country have entered their second week.

    Gardaí were called to a number of sites over the weekend, as tensions remain high over beef prices.

    Meat Industry Ireland has said more than a dozen sites have stopped operating, and staff have been laid off since the pickets began.

    A farmer at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis has been telling Midwest News this morning that they're not going to give up anytime soon.

  • SIPTU representatives have written to Meat Industry Ireland, the body which represents processors in the industry, calling on it to ensure that union members do not suffer a financial loss because of ongoing protests by farmers at processing plants around the country.

     SIPTU Organiser, Jason Palmer, said: “The ongoing protests are causing severe difficulties for SIPTU members working at these plants. Members are facing ongoing lay-offs and loss of earnings since the commencement of these protests concerning beef production.”

    SIPTU is calling on Meat Industry Ireland, to meet with SIPTU representatives to agree compensation for its members who continue to suffer a financial loss because of the dispute.

     IPTU Organiser, Terry Bryan, told Midwest News : “our members have had to endure financial hardship as a result of the dispute between beef farmers and processors. This results in our members facing an uncertain future. The situation cannot continue. SIPTU has today written to Meat Industry Ireland seeking an urgent meeting on the matter.”