Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has called on the IFA to call off its proposed beef protest and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney has urged both sides to make progress today. 

The IFA and MII are to meet today, with Michael Dowling, who has been instrumental in the beef crisis negotiations in recent months.

Meanwhile, Chairman of MII, Ciaran Fitzgerald, said that further disruptive action not only damages business but also fundamentally questions the IFA’s commitment to the Minister’s Beef Roundtable forum.

“Following the most recent beef Roundtable, all stakeholders agreed to an intensive period of dialogue in advance of the next Roundtable on November 12. MII had agreed to meet with IFA leadership, with an independent chairman, on Tuesday of this week. However the IFA cancelled this meeting.”

He said that all parties were asked by the Minister to desist from protest and commit to talks, “instead the IFA have very publicly demanded a major price increase while at the same tim confirming their intention to engage in further disruptive action”.

MII members remain fully committed to the dialogue process, he said. “However while MII are now due to meet with IFA leadership on Friday, it is questionable whether these talks can progress on a constructive basis given the overhang of a threat of further protest action from the IFA.”

Meanwhile, Minister Coveney said he hasspoken to the IFA, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and the facilitator of the discussions Michael Dowling in some detail about the outstanding issues. “I’ve urged all sides to make progress on the current issues under discussion in this two week intensive engagement period before the Beef Forum meets again next Wednesday.

“All sides need a beef market with stability and certainty. I welcome the fact that the IFA and MII are sitting around the table with Michael Dowling today and urge them to use this process to make progress on an outcome that is acceptable to all sides.”

The IFA is planning a 48-hour protest outside the country’s factories from Sunday night.