Talks to break beef deadlock set for this afternoon

Talks between the Beef Plan Movement, Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and farmer organisations are set to get underway shortly to find a solution to the current impasse in the beef sector at present.

The talks, which are set to take place at the Department of Agriculture’s Backweston campus in Co. Kildare this afternoon, will be chaired by the former secretary general of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Dowling.

Kicking off at 2:00pm this afternoon, delegations of representatives from the farming organisations will be present.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) will have three representatives present: ICSA president Edmond Phelan; secretary general Eddie Punch; and beef chairman Edmund Graham.

The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) delegation will comprise: ICMSA president Pat McCormack; general secretary John Enright; and livestock chairman Des Morrison.

Macra na Feirme will have national president Thomas Duffy and two staff members at the table.

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) representatives include:director of operations Vincent Roddy; national vice-president Brendan Joyce; and Tipperary county chair Joe Condon.

Finally, Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) delegates will include: IFA president Joe Healy; director general Damian McDonald; and livestock chairman Angus Woods.

Representatives from the Beef Plan Movement and other farm organisations have yet to be confirmed.

The talks were agreed to on Friday evening, August 9, when the Beef Plan accepted compromise proposals put forward by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, following 12 days of farmer protests outside meat factories around the country.

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

On Friday, the minister said the talks will involve both MII and the Beef Plan Movement – and also include representatives from the farm organisations, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and its agencies.