A spokesperson for beef farmers protesting at the pickets in Co. Cork has said “the biggest problem is that the base price has not been fixed so we don’t know what we’re actually entering into”.

Speaking to AgriLand today, Monday, September 16, a spokesperson for the three picket lines in Cork said: “If we haven’t a base price, you don’t know what you’re actually going to get.”

The spokesperson said that numbers have “got bigger” on the picket lines but stressed: “We need to know a base price before we withdraw the pickets – and we need a good one.

There’s no base price fixed for the deal that was agreed. We’ve been asking the factories to give us a quote and no one can give us it yet.

“We got 8c/kg extra from the talks but if the base price drops, we could be losing money instead of gaining. If we moved away now, a farmer could go in with cattle and the base price could drop.

“If they quoted us a base price, we could move forward from there. That’s where we are.

There’s talk of a base price of €3.75/kg being mentioned by factories. I think if we got something very near €3.80/kg, we could walk off the picket line.

“Why would we send animals in if we couldn’t get a base price? It’s lunacy. We can’t give in if we don’t know what base price we’re dealing with,” they stressed.

Concluding, the spokesperson said: “A deal is in progress to get the base price up so farmers can come off the line.”