Independent Farmers group to participate in beef talks

The Independent Farmers of Ireland group has confirmed that it will be represented at beef stakeholder talks called by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

The talks are also expected to feature farm organisations including: the Irish Farmers’ Association; the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association; the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association; the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association; Macra na Feirme; and the Beef Plan Movement.

Set to be held tomorrow, Saturday, September 14, in Dublin, the group – formed to represent protesters outside farmers around the country – has welcomed its inclusion in proceedings.

The group will be represented by its three elected spokespeople, which it describes as a “major step forward” stating that protesters’ concerns are “finally being taken on board at national level”.

The group said that its representatives will be “simply there to relay information to and from the peaceful protesters and explain what is needed for a successful resolution to be found”.

MII confirms participation

Earlier today, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) confirmed that it would also participate in tomorrow’s talks.

In a statement, the Ibec representative group for processors said: “We are committed to working constructively to resolve the situation, and have always been ready to participate in talks, but only when negotiations could take place in good faith.

“As requested by the minister, beef slaughtering operations will remain suspended in blockaded plants during the talks.

However, existing limited stocks of beef must be allowed have free movement in/out of meat plants.

This is critical to avoiding further loss of domestic and export customers for Irish beef which would be to the long-term detriment of the sector.

“MII has also insisted on an immediate resumption of sheep slaughtering in the two west of Ireland affected dual species plants to alleviate a serious build-up of factory ready lambs in the most sheep intensive region of the country,” the representative group’s statement said.