Beef row to hit store shelves as meat stocks run low

Stock: Getty Images
Stock: Getty Images
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

A dispute which has gripped the beef industry for several weeks is now set to affect supermarket shelves.

Aldi has become the first major retailer to confirm difficulties in stocking its shelves with Irish beef. In a statement to the Irish Independent, an Aldi spokesperson said there was now industry-wide availability issues for Irish beef.

It said to ensure it has a full range of fresh beef and pork products for its customers, some of its Irish beef and pork suppliers have processed Irish beef and pork at their UK-based processing facilities.

"This is clearly reflected on our products' packaging. We have also placed notices in our stores to ensure our customers are fully aware of the situation," a spokesperson said.

It comes as efforts are continuing to broker talks between protesting farmers and the meat industry. To date, there has been no agreement on plans to arrange talks to resolve the dispute in the coming days.

It had been mooted that an agreement by factories not to resume processing cattle and protesters to end their pickets could lead both sides back to the table. However, agreement to date on this has not been confirmed.

Impasse

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has said he is continuing to engage with farmers and meat processors in an effort to convene talks at the earliest possible opportunity.

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The row, which began in late July with the picketing of meat factories by a grassroots group of farmers, deepened on Monday when representatives of processors walked away from Government-initiated talks to resolve the impasse.

Meat Industry Ireland said on Tuesday that its members had temporarily laid off 3,000 employees after the blockading of their factories resulted in the closure of some 80pc of overall processing capacity.

Siptu has called for income support to be provided to workers affected by the crisis.

Siptu organiser Terry Bryan said: "We currently have thousands of workers laid off and this is causing massive hardship for their families.

"These are families with bills to pay, children to feed and rent now due. Not all the workers who have been laid off will have automatic entitlement to social welfare payments because of the Work Permit System."

Irish Independent


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