The continued illegal blockading of beef processing plants across the country has already forced companies into staff lay-offs and, if this coordinated illegal disruption continues, further significant staff lay-offs in the coming days are inevitable, according to Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

In a statement issued this morning, Friday, August 30, the meat industry representative body added that it is “extremely damaging for the entire Irish beef sector that for the second time in just three weeks, hard-won customers of Irish beef are being left without deliveries.

These loyal and valued customers are again forced to seek alternative fresh beef supplies. This damages the position of Irish beef in the marketplace.

“With political chaos in the UK ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit, the last thing our sector needs at this crucial time is a series of industry blockades that prevent us supplying our customers in the UK and elsewhere.

“Operations have now been brought to a halt in 12 plants, giving rise to staff lay-offs and significant losses.

“It is the illegal blockading of processing sites that is forcing companies into staff lay-offs.

There are also increasing calls from farmer suppliers to deal with a growing backlog of market-ready cattle.

Concluding, the industry body said: “MII calls on protesters, even at this late stage, to act responsibly for the good of the sector and stop the blockades immediately.”