Dawn Meats

  • The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is again appealing to members of the Beef Plan movement to accept his invitation and to enter into talks to resolve the ongoing protests outside meat factories.

    A number of meat factories have been forced to lay off staff temporarily as the Beef Plan protest enters its 12th day.

    Meat Industry Ireland has confirmed that nine meat factories have stopped working and some of these plants have temporarily laid off staff.

    The Beef Plan Movement is calling for a meaningful proposal to give farmers a fair share of the retail margin of beef.

    Today is the twelfth day of the protest action by beef farmers outside meat factories in various locations across the country, including Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis. The farmers are taking the action because of the collapse in the prices that they are securing from factories for their produce.

    Some workers have been temporarily laid off from three Dawn Meats factories.

    150 staff have been let go at the plant on the Kilkenny/Waterford border - but it's not yet known which other two plants are affected.

    The ongoing protests outside more than 20 meat factories nationally is causing major disruption to processing.

    The President of the Irish Farmers Association is calling for an immediate solution to the row.

    Joe Healy says he has sympathy for the staff of Dawn Meats.

    Meanwhile the Beef Plan Movement is calling for a meaningful proposal to give farmers a fair share of the retail margin on beef.

    A spokesperson for the group said there are plans to mobilise further protests as frustration with the ongoing beef price offered to farmers has seen no engagement from the main stakeholders.

    The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is again appealing to members of the Beef Plan movement to accept his invitation and to enter into talks to resolve the ongoing protests outside meat factories.

    In a statement from the Minister’s Office to Midwest News this morning, a spokesperson for the Minister states:

    The Minister deeply regrets that efforts by his office to reach out to the Beef Plan Movement to enter a process of dialogue and to temporarily suspend their protests has been rejected.  A round table discussion regarding the current market difficulties involving all stakeholders including Minister Creed, farm organisations, representatives of the beef processing sector, Meat Industry Ireland, the Department and its agencies has been offered to the Beef Plan movement.  In light of the announcement of lay offs in the meat processing sector, the difficult income situation facing farmers with livestock for slaughter and on animal welfare grounds, the Minister is again calling on the Beef Plan Movement to reflect on its position and to take up the invitation to enter into talks.

    While, Midlands-Northwest MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan has voiced his support for the farmers at the factory gates.

     

  • Spokesperson for the Beef Plan Movement says its about more than fighting for an increase in the price of cattle.

    Vice-chair of the Western Region, David Whelehan, said that the movement’s goals stretch far beyond the price of cattle.

    He cited anti-competitive practices in the industry and unfair practices as major issues for farmers that must be resolved at any beef talks or summits.

    Midwest Radio News spoke with a representative of the movement protesting outside Dawn Meats Ballyhaunis, who said the movement would not end with just an increase in beef prices.

     

  • As farmers continue to protest outside a number of meat plants over the prices being paid for their cattle, a Chinese delegation arrived shortly before 9am this morning to carry out an inspection at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis.

    A large number of farmers are protesting outside the factory, but made no attempt to block the Chinese visitors, who are carrying out inspections at factories across the country to approve them as exporters to China.

    Gardai were also at the scene this morning, to facilitate the visiting delegation accessing the factory.

    The farmers welcomed the delegation with two signs written in Chinese, welcoming them to Ballyhaunis but also calling for a fair price for their animals.

     

     

  • As protests continue at a number of meat processing plants, including Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis, Dawn Meats is considering legal action against the Chairman of the Beef Plan Movement Hugh Doyle.

    In a statement to Midwest News, Dawn Meats said this follows activity at its plant in Slane, Co Meath - in contravention of a High Court injunction and the deal agreed over the weekend to end the factory blockade.

    A legal letter has been sent to Mr Doyle and the Beef Plan movement.

    The company says it's considering legal action seeking damages for losses that may have been incurred during the blockade.

    Meanwhile, Roscommon Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy is appealing to meat processors to shift their position, in a bid to bring an end to the current beef crisis.

    Fianna Fail are bringing forward a private members motion in the Dail this evening to highlight the downward spiral in beef prices which has resulted in farmer protests, factories closing, and thousands of workers being laid off.

    Deputy Murphy believes  the processors have to move a little on their position to break the current impasse.

  • The ongoing blockade of the Dawn Meats facility in Ballyhaunis is continuing to prevent local sheep farmers from being able to sell their animals - according to the company.

    Dawn Meats claims the protestors are preventing vehicles from delivering sheep through the factory gates, and says the disruption is causing hardship to West of Ireland sheep farmers as their animals are now going to be out of market specification on weight and fat score when sold.

    In a statement to Midwest News, a spokesperson for Dawn Meats said it's disappointing that the protests are preventing West of Ireland sheep farmers from being able to sell their lambs.

    The statement says the actions of farmers blocking the gates are directly impacting on the livelihoods of their fellow farmers, and the hundreds of employees of the plant who have been forced out of work by the blockades.

    Dawn Meats has been forced to issue temporary lay-off notices to over 500 staff as the protests have shut down production.

     

     

     

  • A protest by members of the Beef Plan movement is continuing outside a number of meat factories across the country.

    It's day 3 of the protest outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis, where the number of farmers protesting swelled to well over one hundred at a time last night.

    Farmers engaged with truck drivers who were delivering cattle to the factory.

    The Irish Farmers Journal reports that Dawn Meats are planning their normal cattle kill in Ballyhaunis for the rest of the week.

    Efforts by Midwest News to speak to management at the Ballyhaunis plant yesterday were unsuccessful.

    Elsewhere across the region, protests are also continuing at Kepak in Athleague, and Liffey Meats in Ballinasloe over the collapse in beef prices and proposed cuts to the national herd.

    Kepak in Athleague is continuing to kill cattle and sheep - it's reported that, despite protestors trying to encourage farmers not to bring animals for slaughter, there are still significant numbers being traded.

     

     

  • It's day 9 of the protest action by beef farmers outside a number of meat factories across the country.

    Yesterday evening, up to 200 members of the Beef Plan Movement took part in the ongoing action outside the Dawn Meats plant in Ballyhaunis, with a large number of farmers taking up position outside the gates again today - despite the inclement weather.

    Collapsing beef prices, and the poor margin the farmer is getting for their animals are among the main reasons for the protest action.

    Meanwhile, Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers says farmers picketing at the gates of the meat plants have the support of the general public and the factory workers.

    Deputy Chambers joined farmers on the protest line outside Dawn Meats yesterday.

    She told Midwest News that farmers have been backed into this position after exhausting all other avenues open to them, as their income is collapsing.

     

     

  • There was traffic chaos earlier this morning on Clare Street in Ballyhaunis due to a national protest by farmers over factory beef Prices.

    The protest was organised by ICSA, and livestock lorries were backed up outside the gates of Dawn Meats in the town from first light, as the protesters blocked the entrance to the factory.

    The organisation is insisting that the factory prices for beef are unfair and are putting farmers out of business.

    ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham said farmers cannot continue to produce beef at current prices.

    “It is beyond belief that in a year like this, when farmers are on their knees with extra cost arising from a fodder crisis that the meat industry would seek to increase profits on the back of farmers.”

    Speaking on the protest line, ICSA president Patrick Kent told Midwest News that they're sending a very clear message to retailers that beef  farmers were being exploited.

    Midwest News has made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Dawn Meats today for comment.

     

     

  • A number of farmers have staged an overnight protest outside the Dawn Meats plant in Ballyhaunis - despite the High Court yesterday granting Dawn Meats and ABP a temporary injunction against protests outside their factories.

    The High Court granted the temporary injunction yesterday, after an application by the two companies which said they had no alternative but to take the action, to protect their businesses.

    The court heard that a multi-million euro meat deal with China is under threat, because of farmer protests outside processing plants.

    Lawyers for Dawn Meats and ABP told Mr Justice Senan Allen that a Chinese delegation is due to visit the factories in the new few days to carry out inspections, with a view to increasing imports to the Chinese market, but claimed the actions of protestors could jeopardise the deal.

    The temporary injunction was granted against protests at up to a dozen meat factories, including Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis, and the proceedings were adjourned until Friday.

    However, a small group of individual farmers have spent the night protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis, and have defended their right to stage a peaceful protest in their efforts to secure a better price for their animals.

     

    Meanwhile,  Meat Industry Ireland says a challenging market is to blame for the low prices farmers are getting for their animals.

    Spokesman Cormac Healy also says Dawn Meats and ABP were left with no choice but the seek an injunction.....

     

     

     

     

  • Injunction proceedings by Dawn Meats and Liffey Meats against a number of named and unnamed protesters have been struck out.

    The request to strike out was made by lawyers for the meat companies at the High Court this morning.

    Lawyers for Dawn Meats and Liffey Meats asked the court to strike out the proceedings, which were aimed at preventing blockades at a number of meat processing plants around the country.

    Earlier this week, Dawn Meats had been granted leave of the High Court to bring a number of protesters before the court for alleged breach of court orders.

    However when the case was called this morning, the court heard that some talks had taken place and the case could be struck out.

    Meanwhile, farmers protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis intend to stay put, ahead of the resumption of talks on the beef crisis next Monday.

    The Agriculture Minister announced yesterday that he will facilitate the talks, involving the same stakeholders as the last round of talks - however, the retailers will not be present on Monday.

  • Dawn Meats has been granted permission to bring attachment and committal proceedings against a protester at a meat plant, back to the High Court on Friday.

    It's after farmers continued to block access to factories despite a high court injunction stopping them from protesting.

    The pickets have stemmed from a row over beef prices.

    Dawn Meats said it was forced to return to the High Court today to request the enforcement of the injunction and that similar action may be taken against further individuals.

    Injunction were also granted to Slaney Meats and Kepak banning protests at their factories.

     

  • A number of meat processing plants have stopped operating and started laying off staff because of the ongoing beef protests.

    The protests are continuing at some sites across the country, despite a number of High Court injunctions being in place.

    Meat Industry Ireland says the ongoing protests have led some processing plants to lay-off staff, and warns more jobs could be lost if the blockades continue.

    It also says the sector as a whole is being damaged, with customers of these plants being forced to get their fresh beef from other countries.

    Individual farmers protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis today are appealing to management at the plant to come out and talk to them, they claim that at the company’s sister plant in Rathdowney  - such exchanges are happening today.

    Meat Industry Ireland says protests is the last thing the industry needs ahead of a potential no deal Brexit - and is calling on the protesters to stop protesting immediately.

    The Oireachtas Agriculture committee may meet next week to discuss the ongoing beef dispute.

    Chair of the Committee Pat Deering says they are considering the possibility of meeting next Wednesday.

    He has asked members to submit their proposals for addressing the issues by close of business today.

  • Despite optimism that the beef talks may reconvene, protesting farmers outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis have erected a Christmas tree overnight, insisting they are there for the long haul.

    Talks aimed at resolving the ongoing beef price dispute are expected to resume at the weekend or early next week.

    Meat processors and farming groups met separately with the Agriculture Minister yesterday evening in an effort to resolve the row that has seen thousands of meat factory workers across the country including here in this region, temporarily laid off.

    The Beef Plan Movement has repeated its request that retailers must attend the next set of talks, whenever they may be.

    Speaking to Midwest News this morning protesting farmers at Dawn Meats insisted they will not be leaving the protest line until a deal is done. They said they had erected and lit a Christmas tree overnight to indicate their resolve to stay out until Christmas and longer if necessary.

  • Protests at meat factories across the country have entered their second week.

    Gardaí were called to a number of sites over the weekend, as tensions remain high over beef prices.

    Meat Industry Ireland has said more than a dozen sites have stopped operating, and staff have been laid off since the pickets began.

    A farmer at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis has been telling Midwest News this morning that they're not going to give up anytime soon.

  • The control of the beef sector is in the hands of too few and needs more competition – that’s the view of Supermac’s head, Pat McDonagh.

    As reported by the Irish Independent, Galway man Pat McDonagh, whose restaurant chain buys around 30,000 tonnes of Irish meat every week, said there are too few in charge of the beef sector.

    Talks between farming organisations and the meat factories are set to resume on Monday and Mr McDonagh called on farmers to get more control of their destiny.

    Some factories have cut the price offered to €3.45 per killogramme, with farmers saying they need at least €4 to break even.

    The Supermac’s head said current beef prices are not all about Brexit or sterling weakness, but about factories’ margins.

    The continuing talks between the farming organisations and meat processors come after the Beef Plan Movement called off a two-week protest outside meat factories, including Dawn Meats Ballyhaunis.

    The Beef Plan Movement has called for a ‘fair share of the retail margin.’

  • The Tánaiste is appealing to protesting beef farmers to end their blockades of beef factories across the country.

    Minister Simon Coveney says the demonstrations could cause irreversible damage to the beef sector "within days".

    It comes as fresh legal threats have been issued by Dawn Meats against the Beef Plan Movement, regarding damages for losses that may have been incurred during the protests.

    The company has also contacted Gardaí about protesters wearing masks outside some of its factories, describing it as a "sinister development".

    Speaking at the Ploughing Championships in Carlow this afternoon, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said farm families could become the casualty of the dispute:

  • A number of meat factories have been forced to lay off staff temporarily as the Beef Plan protest enters its 12th day.

    Meat Industry Ireland has confirmed that nine meat factories have stopped working and some of these plants have temporarily laid off staff.

    The farmers are taking the action because of the collapse in the prices that they are securing from factories for their produce.

    Some workers have been temporarily laid off from three Dawn Meats factories.

    Midwest News understands that Up to 200  staff at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis were yesterday informed by the company that they are laid off from today "for the forseeable future". They are employed in beef processing. At a meeting yesterday with management staff were informed that the company had no option but to lay them off, as the beef kill at the plant has been suspended since last week.

    It's understood that sheep processing is continuing at the Ballyhaunis plant.

    The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is appealing to members of the Beef Plan movement to accept his invitation and to enter into talks to resolve the ongoing protests outside the factories.

    The chairman of the Beef Plan Movement in Sligo Gerry Pilkington is protesting at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis he told Midwest News today that the lay offs are unfortunate and regretable  but farmers are refusing to suspend their protests before going into any talks.

    They are refusing to enter talks with this precondition set down by the Minister, he explained, on the grounds that if they do, their position will be weakened further.

     

     

  • Up to 300 farmers attended a rally in Ballyhaunis last night to discuss the weekend beef agreement.

    Representatives from  the Beef Plan movement and the INHFA addressed the rally, along with independent farmers.

    The general consensus was that local farmers were happy with many of the recommendations made at the weekend, until it comes to the issue of base price, which could not be discussed around the table due to competition law.

    Independent farmers agreed to continue protests outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis while negotiations continue with local management on a base price farmers can accept.

    A new beef producers' group is also being set up to negotiate on farmers' behalf with the meat plants.