Dawn Meats in fresh legal action against Beef Plan

Fresh legal action against the Beef Plan Movement has cast doubt over the potential of getting the Beef Sector Reform Agreement over the line.

In a bizarre turn of events, last night, Tuesday, September 17, the farm lobby group stated that it had received “a new legal threat” from Dawn Meats which it claims is “against Beef Plan Movement and its directors”.

As such, the group says it is now “effectively prohibited” from actively trying to get pickets to stand down in order to progress the beef agreement – which was accepted by seven farm organisations, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and states agencies last weekend after eight weeks of protests at factory gates over the current beef price climate.

However, the agreement – which includes a number of significant changes to in-spec industry requirements – clearly states that it will not come into force “until all protests and blockades cease”.

Over the last 48 hours leaders from the country’s farm organisations have attempted to explain the detail of the agreement to farmers on the remaining protest lines, and to highlight that the deal, while not perfect, is “the best deal” that could be negotiated under the current circumstances.

Farm leaders also appear to be of the view that the agreement as it stands “lays a foundation” for strengthening the position of the farmer in the food supply chain – particularly when considered alongside the establishment of the beef sector’s first producer organisation.

However, as it now stands, the Beef Plan Movement – who has been a central driving force in highlighting the grim reality of beef farm incomes – says it is now prevented from talking to those who remain on some picket lines.


The statement from the Beef Plan Movement outlines the following: “On specific request of Minister Creed the Beef Plan Movement, along with the other farming organisations, had set about informing picket lines of the content of the Irish Beef Sector Agreement published by his department.

“Beef Plan went about this task in good faith as Beef Plan believes that everything achieved during the Backweston meetings and more recently in the Agriculture House meeting last weekend, is a good deal for farmers and will give greater transparency into the meat industry.

“Beet Plan will continue to support the agreement; however, due to a new legal threat received this evening (Tuesday, September 9) that was issued by Dawn Meats against Beef Plan Movement and its directors, we are now effectively prohibited from actively trying to get pickets to stand down,” it said.

The details of the alleged legal threat have not yet been made public.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for more on this developing story…