Meat industry Ireland is being warned that talks aimed at resolving the ongoing beef dispute can’t go ahead, while the threat of litigation hangs over farmers and representative groups.
The Cratloe-based General Secretary of the ICSA has issued the warning in response to a High Court Injunction, which was imposed to stop farmers from protesting outside up to ten factories.
While there was some agreement at talks between the meat industry and farmers representative groups in recent weeks, their deal hasn’t been good enough to satisfy many farmers.
Protests have resumed at many meat plants nationwide, including the Kepak facility in Drumquin and last evening, in response, processors Dawn Meats and ABP secured a high court injunction, preventing farmers from blocking traffic in and out of up to ten factories.
The Drumquin plant is not affected.
The issue at hand is the price offered to farmers for their produce, and Meat Industry Ireland says a challenging market is to blame
Spokesperson, Cormac Healy, says farmers can only get more if market conditions improve.
The ICSA’s General Secretary has criticised the legal action, saying meat processors would be better served by figuring out how to put money on the table for farmers, rather than in the pockets of lawyers.
Cratloe’s Eddie Punch says they cannot enter into talks, while farmers are being threatened with litigation.
This week Chinese inspectors are visiting over a dozen factories, and Meat Industry Ireland fears the protests will put a trade deal in jeopardy.
But Eddie Punch says the ball is in the industry’s court.
Either way, Pat O’Toole from the Irish Farmers Journal explains that it looks like a resolution could be far down the line.
Listen back to the full interview with Eddie Punch