Protests which had been planned by individual farmers for retail distribution centres later this week have been suspended, it is understood.

The demonstrations, which had been planned by the farmers who staged the tractor protest to Dublin last month, on November 26 and 27, have been put on hold following announcements from a number of major retailers that they would attend the next meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce.

The taskforce meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 9, with four major retailers committing to attend so far, namely: Tesco; Musgrave Group; Aldi; and Lidl.

Speaking to AgriLand, one of the organisers of the tractor protest in November, said:

The protest is suspended at the minute; the retailers have come to the table.

“The whole lot of them are going to come to the taskforce and discuss the age limits, 30 months and 36 months,” the organiser noted.

Commenting on what must come out of the meeting, he said:

“We need the four-movement rule, the 60-day residence and the age limits [looked at]. They’ve given statements so that’s why we’ve dropped the threat of pickets from them.

“There’s no point denying them when they’ve agreed to go into the taskforce meeting on January 9,” the organiser concluded.