Claims of 'illegal blockades' as beef prices dispute escalates

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Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Meat factories have accused the Beef Plan Movement of "illegal blockades" as tensions escalate over protests which have brought the industry to a halt in many areas.

In a statement, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) hit out at the protesters over what it described as intimidation of suppliers.

It called on the movement to abandon what it claimed were "illegal blockades" at factories.

MII claimed the unlawful behaviour of some protesters at certain sites continues to go well beyond the guidelines issued by Beef Plan itself.

Beef Plan chairman Hugh Doyle said the protests will continue this week. "We hope that MII will engage with us, but we are not prepared to ask farmers to stop protesting if there is nothing on the table.

"Our lines of communication are open. While this impasse continues, the farmers are asking us to continue our peaceful protest. New factories will be added on a daily basis."

Beef Plan wants the processors to make proposals to return a cost of production, plus a margin, to beef farmers, saying the consumer is now paying more for beef while farmers are being paid "considerably less".

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