Creed 'reaches out' to Beef Plan Movement to enter talks
Following intense pressure the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has contacted the Beef Plan Movement to enter into talks a move which he claims has been rejected.
A spokesperson for the Minister said 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,” the spokesperson said.
Minister Creed has faced intense pressure in recent days to bring all sides together to resolve the dispute.
The Beef Plan is calling for a meaningful proposal to give farmers a fair share of the retail margin of beef.
A spokesperson for the group said there were plans to mobilise further protests as frustration with the ongoing beef price offered to farmers has seen no engagement from the main stakeholders.
"Contrary to Meat Industry Ireland statements, Beef Plan is adhering to its peaceful protest guidelines and indeed suspending protests if there are breaches of the guidelines outside any factory," they said.
"Responsibility for a peaceful protest lies with both sides - hauliers and persons entering the factory need to be cognisant of the presence of families including children at the protests as there have been many examples of aggressive driving observed."
Both sides have accused each other of intimidating behaviour, with Meat Industry Ireland saying the "illegal blockading" has halted production in nine factories, while other factories are operating at minimal levels.
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