Solutions and compromises that everyone can live with will be put forward at this week’s beef forum, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Simon Coveney.

The Minister said that having spoken to everybody concerned it is ‘doable’ despite the protest and anger over the last couple of days.

The Minister made the comments this today in advance of a European Council meeting in Brussels.

The Minister said that he had a very good meeting with the IFA and meat processors since his return from a week-long trade mission to China.

“I think what you are seeing at the moment is an expression of pent up anger built up over the last nine to 10 months where farmers don’t feel they have been getting a fair price form the procession sector for their produce,” he said.

The Minister said that it is a time now for leaders on both sides to keep their heads.

Meanwhile, talks between ICSA and Meat Industry Ireland have ended this afternoon with signs that some progress has been made on the specifications issue.

“ICSA has been campaigning for the relaxation of the 30-month limit and for realistic weight and age specifications for bulls, and we are now hopeful of seeing some progress on these issues at Wednesday’s meeting of the beef roundtable,” said ICSA president, Patrick Kent.

“At today’s meeting, which focussed on specifications, ICSA also continued to push for a Quality Assured bonus to be paid on all cattle from Quality Assured herds.”

“Price continues to be a source of huge frustration at present, and along with changes to specifications, farmers need to see an improved return as soon as possible,” he said.