The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has been contacted by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) which has sought an urgent meeting regarding the beef sector.

The IFA is looking for the meeting for clarity on the issue of discussing beef price, having received an invitation to re-enter talks from Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, according to IFA president Joe Healy.

Healy has written to the authority chair, Isolde Goggin, seeking an urgent meeting to clarify the CCPC’s position on cattle prices being discussed at beef talks.

“We understand that the Beef Plan Movement was advised that it would have to accept a precondition that prices could not be discussed before entering into the most recent talks,” Healy said.

We are unclear why such a precondition applied, and we want an explanation from the CCPC.

“The minister has asked the IFA to re-enter talks, but we need clarity on this point,” the president said.

“It is the IFA’s view that talks without price being on the table is a waste of time and makes a mockery of beef farmers,” he said.

Earlier today, Healy said: “Market conditions have improved in Europe and there is now room for a price increase. The factories should move on this now.

“We are less than 70 days from Brexit. We need the minister and the EU to spell out what they are going to do to support farmers through Brexit,” the president said.