The announcement made today, Thursday, November 28, by C & D Foods to discontinue legal threats against Paraic Brady and Colm Leonard has been welcomed by the Beef Plan Movement, which has called for the immediate sitting of the Beef Market Taskforce.

In a statement, Beef Plan spokesperson Dermot O’Brien said that a threat of legal action against any farmer is a huge point of contention by the farming community in Ireland, adding that all farmers deserve respect.

O’Brien stressed the constitutional right of farmers to protest peacefully, and said that all farm organisations stood firmly behind Brady and Leonard, adding:

The progression of the Beef Market Taskforce has been greatly hindered by the lax approach of corporate industry in the discontinuing of legal threats.

O’Brien said he acknowledges the work carried out by everyone behind the scenes to ensure that legal threats were going to be discontinued by C & D Foods, paying special compliment to Enda Fingleton, south east regional chair of the Beef Plan Movement, who he said “did trojan work behind the scenes to include meetings with the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan”.

The Beef Plan representative also lauded the recent protest in Dublin for raising “further awareness among the consumer” for the key struggle facing beef farmers, namely “not being properly paid for their produce”.

O’Brien said that the Beef Market Taskforce “must now sit straight away as the beef farmers of Ireland want action in relation to points agreed on September 15 in the Beef Sector Agreement”.

Price paid for beef is the biggest issue for our farmers and this has to start moving upwards. The Beef Price Index indicates that farmers here are not being treated as they should be treated and meat processors now have questions to answer in this regard.

O’Brien also thanked all TDs who contributed to having the remaining legal threats lifted.