Kepak postpones €6.5 million investment in Clare

Kepak has announced that it has “indefinitely postponed” a planned €6.5 million investment at its Co. Clare site in Drumquin, which it says is as a result of the ongoing protests.

The company said that the Co. Clare site has been the worst affected of its facilities by the protests.

Kepak said that processing has been suspended there “effectively since August 2”.

Kepak claims “many of the protesters” are not suppliers to the site.

According to a statement from the processor, all staff at the plant have been laid off, as part of the total 1,400 staff it has laid off around the country.

“Kepak is endeavouring to provide our colleagues with every support and assistance during this difficult time,” the statement said.

“It is now evident that self-appointed protesters are creating chaos in the Irish beef industry with little regard for its long-term future,” the processor claimed.

Irish beef prices are on a par with the main EU markets into which we export some 90% of Irish beef. It is Kepak’s conviction that the solution to these weak market prices is an EU-wide challenge and will not be resolved by illegal blockades of Irish meat processors.

Kepak also claimed that its customers in other parts of the EU have switched to sourcing beef from other countries, and that “loyal customers are now beginning to question the reliability of the Irish beef sector as a dependable supplier”.

“It is critical that blockades are lifted to allow farmers and the industry to resume normal activity before it suffers irreparable damage and losses,” the statement concluded.