Protesters delay lorries leaving Tesco Distribution Centre in Ballymun

Farmer protesters from the Beef Plan Movement have been delaying lorries from leaving the Tesco Distribution Centre in Ballymun, north Dublin.

Approximately 12 members of the group were on the scene, slowly walking ahead of the lorries as they attempted to leave the facility.

Eventually, the protesters stopped moving altogether, leaving 10 lorries at a stand still.

Lorries had also been held up earlier in the day, one protester said.

Two Garda squad cars were on the scene, though there were no incidents that required their intervention, with all lorry drivers bar one deciding to wait behind the protesters rather then trying to overtake them.

After around a 20-minute delay, the protesters stepped aside to allow the lorries pass.

Speaking to AgriLand at the protest, Beef Plan Movement chairperson Hugh Doyle said: “We are just trying to demonstrate to the retailers that we all need each other. If we don’t work together the system breaks down.

Farmers have the right to fair trade. The retailers have a right to a profit. But if the farmers are not getting a fair percentage of the retail price, they’re stuck in a rut.

“Do European consumers want to import meat that has no traceability? Is the environment not important? Is food security not important? They are the questions we want to ask ourselves,” Doyle added.

He called on the retailers to “hand back more” to the primary producer.

The price of beef in the last 12 months, if you compare to the previous 12 months, has remained stagnant, and yet farmers are receiving between €200 and €250 per animal less. The consumer’s not getting it, so the simple question is: Where it is? It’s left my pocket and it’s gone somewhere.

Concluding, Doyle labelled the apparent decision by Minister Michael Creed not to call retailers to the beef sector talks as “terrible”.