Kepac has announced that it has suspended a planned 6.5 million euro investment in its Clare site, as a direct result of the ongoing illegal blockades.
In a statement to Clare FM this evening, the processor says the Drumquin facility, near Ennis, has been the most severely affected of its sites, with all processing suspended there since the 2nd of August.
Kepak have now laid off 1,400 people, including all staff at its Clare facility and the processor says its “endeavouring to provide our colleagues with every support and assistance during this difficult time”.
The statement goes on to say that it’s “now evident that self-appointed protesters are creating chaos in the Irish beef industry with little regard for its long-term future”
“Irish beef prices are on a par with the main EU markets into which we export some 90% of Irish beef”, Kepac claims, and says “the solution to these weak market prices is an EU-wide challenge and “will not be resolved by illegal blockades of Irish meat processors”.
Kepac has warned of long term consequences as “some hard-won EU customers have already switched to sourcing their supply of beef from other countries. Loyal customers are now beginning to question the reliability of the Irish beef sector as a dependable supplier”.
Kepac has now called for blockades to be lifted “to allow farmers and the industry to resume normal activity before it suffers irreparable damage and losses”.