‘Meat plants should step back as well’ – McCormack

Meat plants are being asked to “step back” from taking legal action against farm groups by the president of the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Speaking to AgriLand during our live coverage of the 2019 National Ploughing Championships, Pat McCormack expressed his disappointment at the decision by Dawn Meats to pursue legal action against not only the Beef Plan Movement, but personally against its chairman Hugh Doyle.

“I’m disappointed with that development today; no point in saying otherwise,” said McCormack.

We’ve asked farmers in the cold light of day to have a good examination of the agreement and analyse it. I would ask the meat plants and Meat Industry Ireland (MII) to take the step back as well.

“We would have asked them last week during the talks, and even prior to the talks, to take that step back,” McCormack explained.

“Farmers are very apprehensive in putting their trust and faith in moving off the line. That’s understandable,” the ICMSA president stressed.

In the video below McCormack addressed this issue – as well as a new ICMSA farmers survey and the Government’s preparations for Brexit – during AgriLand’s live stream of ‘Ploughing 2019’.

“It has taken a long time to come to where we are. It is a time for cool heads on all sides, including MII,” McCormack added.

Restaurants

During his interview, McCormack also addressed the comments from the Restaurant Association of Ireland, which raised concerns over the supply of beef for restaurants around the country.

“It was heartening to see that they [the restaurants] want to continue to promote and provide Irish beef, which is imperative,” he said.

It really highlights where the industry is at this point in time, and that we need to sort ourselves out this week and be in a possession to be up and running on September 22 or 23.

He went on: “At this point in time that is imperative because listening to farmers, 99 out of 100 want to kill cattle.

“They’ll give this deal six, eight or 10 weeks to see if it delivers. They have assured us they’ll be back out on the picket lines at that point in time,” McCormack added.

“But it is to build that trust and move forward with the industry that is the critical thing,” he stressed.

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