The Beef Plan Movement and Meat Industry Ireland (MII) have accepted compromise proposals put forward by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed, the minister confirmed this evening, Friday, August 9.

The proposals are aimed at breaking the ongoing impasse between the two parties, Minister Creed added.

All protests at meat processing plants and legal proceedings are to be suspended with immediate effect until the agreed talks have concluded.

A meeting will be held on Monday, August 12, involving both MII and the Beef Plan Movement and also including representatives from the farm organisations, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and its agencies.

The minister will appoint an independent chairperson who will preside over an agreed agenda, Minister Creed added.

In a statement, the Beef Plan Movement confirmed the talks, saying:

“An agreement has been reached with Minister Creed following what we and others consider to be heavy-handed tactics of MII through the introduction of legal proceedings that could ultimately end up in the High Court.

The introduction of these legal proceedings have forced us into a position where we have no option but to agree to suspend our protests with immediate effect until talks conclude.

“If we are not satisfied that sufficient progress is being made we will leave the talks and resume our protests with immediate effect on Monday night.”

MII also released a statement, welcoming the minister’s proposal for talks.

“These protests had brought beef processing to a virtual standstill in the country, causing significant disruption in the beef trade and also led to temporary staff layoffs,” MII’s statement said.

Real damage has been done to domestic and export business as a result of these protests and it is high time for the sector to get back to business.

“Processing needs to take place if we are to avoid losing more customers for Irish beef and lamb.

“As part of this agreement, Beef Plan has committed to suspend all protests with immediate effect and MII members have agreed to suspend legal proceedings,” the statement said.