The IFA has sanctioned ‘further action’ in relation to the beef crisis, after an emergency meeting of the IFA Executive Council in the Irish Farm Centre in Dublin this evening (Sunday).

Sources say the ‘further action’ comes as there was no immediate move on beef prices this week and the processors are not going the distance the IFA believes they should go. “We are not hanging around. There is a week here to see substantial progress to close the gap,” the source said. The ‘further action’ is believed will take the form of further protests.

The decision, the association says, means further action against the beef factories as part of IFA’s determined campaign to secure beef price increases and address market specification issues.

IFA President Eddie Downey said the association had a lengthy discussion about the price and specification issues that have to be resolved. “The clear message from members of the Executive Council and the Livestock Committee was that farmers are very angry that the price gap has not been addressed. Unless there is significant movement on this and the specification issues, farmers will not let another week go by without further action.”

The moves comes after the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney called for calm at the beef roundtable this week. He had said that he was not sure if the IFA’s recent 24-hour protest outside beef processors would help or hinder the situation and called for calm. The Minister is currently on a trade mission to China. 

“(The) Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney confirmed that he will convene another meeting of the Beef Forum on November 12 and in the interim, he expects significant progress to be made on the market price and specification issues,” IFA President Eddie Downey said. 

The IFA President said the QPS payment system has to be fixed as part of these discussions. Failure to deal with these issues comprehensively will be failure for the Minister’s Forum.