Minister yet to hear from new farming body amid calls for talks

A sign in chinese on the farmers protest outside Liffey Meats in Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan which was left there for potential Chinese investors to read. It translates as “peaceful farmerr protest, looking for a fair price for our product”. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
A sign in chinese on the farmers protest outside Liffey Meats in Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan which was left there for potential Chinese investors to read. It translates as “peaceful farmerr protest, looking for a fair price for our product”. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

A new farming organisation, a splinter group from the Beef Plan Movement, has formed to represent farmers who are still protesting at meat factory gates.

Independent Farmers of Ireland was established last night when representatives from nine pickets met and elected three representatives to speak and negotiate on behalf of farmers who remain at pickets.

However, in a statement, the group says there is no leader of the group but the three spokespeople are "available and willing to enter talks with Creed should he wish".

However, it's understood the group has not yet been in contact with the Minister's office. The Minister yesterday warned that resolution to the cattle price dispute will only be found around the negotiating table and not in meat plant protests or court injunctions.

He also said "At the moment there is no farmer organisation that has a reach and control over the picket line at the moment," and that many of the protests are being organised on an individual basis.

Meanwhile, the group said in its statement today: "We wish for Minister Creed to step up and call for talks to begin. In order to allow us to safeguard rural Ireland, we ask that he support sustainable Irish family farms not factory farms."

It goes on to say the consensus seems to be throughout the country that the Independent Farmers of Ireland will continue their peaceful protest for as long as needed.

"Or until such a time that our three elected representatives are allowed to negotiate on our behalf in order to ensure the survival of a beef production system which has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world."

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