Meat industry Ireland (MII) has said that public meetings are not the place to conduct negotiations in relation to the beef crisis.

The non-appearance of the processing industry at last night’s beef meeting in Roscommon came in for considerable criticism from the IFA.

However, this morning a spokesperson for MII told Agriland that it is willing to consider flexibility. “We have told the IFA we are willing to meet them. We are now awaiting a response from the IFA.”

The MII spokesperson added: “Negotiation at a public meeting is not the place to do so. We are ready and willing to talk. It’s very much up to the IFA to reach out to us and meet us.”

At last night’s meeting Tom Turley, IFA Connacht Regional Chairman told the 200-plus crowd that the non-appearance of the processors was a ‘disgrace’. “It is up to them to explain the situation because they caused this mess.”

He also said that there are plenty of processors in the region and it is outrageous that none of them bothered to turn up.

IFA presented Eddie Downey said that, in recent days, the factories had made comments that there were ready to speak, but questioned their ‘no-show’ at the Roscommon meeting.

Meat processors have said they are willing to explore flexibility around carcase weights, after meeting with the Minster for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney earlier this week.

MII said that in the interests of moving to a more constructive engagement with producers, the organisation is willing to explore flexibility with regard to carcase weights, notwithstanding a clear and well publicised market trend towards a preference for lower weights.