The Clare Chair of the Beef Plan is warning that farmers are prepared to return to the picket line if progress isn’t made in addressing the issues that gave rise to the beef dispute.
The last of the protests ended last night, with the Clare demonstration coming to an end as the weekend began.
An agreement was reached between Meat Industry Ireland and farming organisations over a week ago and there’s now calls for that to be implemented as a priority.
All picketing by beef farmers has ended across the country.
Farmers protesting near the Kepak plant in Clare lifted their picket last Friday night, as part of a chain reaction that ended with the lifting or protests at plants in Ballyjamesduff in County Cavan and Ballinasloe in County Galway last night.
It came a week after agreement was reached between Meat Industry Ireland and farming organisations, and now Clare’s Junior Minister is calling on all sides to move on from the recent action.
Fine Gael’s Pat Breen is urging all farmers’ representative groups to send their best personnel forward to represent their concerns to the Beef Task Force, with a view to re-visiting the matter in the coming months.
He says the focus should now be on securing the future of the sector.
In a statement, the Independent Farmers of Ireland group says it seems last Sunday’s proposal is on the point of being ratified and has expressed hope that this will be the beginning of a new era for the Irish Beef Industry.
The group says that although the sector is still facing many problems, they now want to address them through measures other than pickets.
The group also states that the implementation of the proposed solutions are crucial.
Clare Chair of the Beef Plan movement Joseph Woulfe agrees, but fears it will take a long time before farmers feel any benefits from the current deal.