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.

 

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