Young farmer and rural youth representative association Macra na Feirme has outlined its disappointment following the withdrawal of Meat Industry Ireland (MII) from beef stakeholder talks earlier today, Monday, September 9.

Speaking at the talks convened by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine Macra na Feirme national president Thomas Duffy expressed his disappointment at the meat industry representative group’s decision to “adjourn from talks”.

The move, according to MII, was due to continuing blockades of processing plants.

Commenting on the move, Duffy said: “Macra na Feirme is very disappointed to hear that MII has chosen to adjourn its participation in the talks today.

We feel the move puts the future of the entire beef sector at risk as no progress can be made in the absence of the meat industry representatives.

Duffy continued, adding that his association, alongside all the other invited farm organisations, was prepared to meet to negotiate a resolution which address farmers’ concerns.

“Macra remains committed to representing all young beef farmers should MII return to the table.”

“MII needs to return to the talks today as no resolution can be reached without the participation of all stakeholders,” the president warned, adding that there are external factors to consider also.

The beef industry has potentially catastrophic events on the horizon.

“With 52 days to Brexit, and the massive shock that a no-deal Brexit will have on the beef industry, active participation from all parties is urgently needed to bring about a resolution,” Duffy concluded.