Up to 500 farmers attend ‘Beef Plan’ meeting in Roscommon

“Monumental crowds” gathered at Roscommon Mart last night (Wednesday, November 7) for the first official public meeting of the Beef Plan 2018-2025 Group.

It has been estimated that more than 500 people attended the event – the majority of which were farmers and some of whom were business owners in the west of Ireland.

Speaking to AgriLand at the event, a number of attendees said they journeyed to the meeting because their “livelihoods depend on the economic sustainability of the beef farmer”.

Speaking at the event, Hugh Doyle, a member of the Beef Plan 2018-2025 Committee explained that farmers must address the beef factories “as a unit“.

The day of beef farmers going to the factories in single file to get slaughtered on price is over.

Issues regarding factory policy on beef cattle were also addressed at the meeting.

Eamon Corley, a spokesperson for, and one of the founding members of, the recently formed Beef Plan Group – which is also referred to as the Beef Plan Movement – told the crowds that “factories can lie empty if they are not prepared to pay us fairly for our cattle.”

Mobilising

Last Thursday (November 1), around 40 farmers – from all over the country – attended a Beef Plan 2018-2025 Group meeting in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, to officially elect a committee and to outline their plan on how to generate support.

Organisers say they needs 40,000 beef farmers to row in behind their proposals.

At the Tullamore meeting the group – which now claims to have up to 3,000 members – voted to appoint a number of key representatives – including: a chairperson; a vice chairperson; a secretary; a treasurer; and a PR representative.

Also Read: Beef Plan Group builds momentum as official committee appointed

Eight individuals were also voted in as regional chairpersons – two for each province.

The authors of the Beef Plan 2018-2025 blueprint – understood to be an entity of farmers that are largely, but not exclusively, members of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) – claim their plan could well be “the last chance for the suckler and beef farmers of this country”.

The main objectives outlined in the 86-point Beef Plan 2018-2025 – which first surfaced last month – includes the following:
  • Regaining control of an animal from birth to slaughter and beyond;
  • Returning a cost-of-production price plus a margin as a minimum; and
  • Regaining respect within the beef industry.

The group – which has received words of support from the Irish Charolais Cattle Society, a number of marts, the Irish Cattle Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), plus a number of high-profile agricultural politicians – is asking new members to contribute €10 towards the development of the entity.