Naughten calls on Minister Creed to convene emergency beef summit

Denis Naughten
Denis Naughten
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is being called upon to convene an emergency beef summit as the Beef Plan protests continue.

Roscommon TD Denis Naughten said there are growing tensions between farmers, processors and those regulating the beef sector and that an emergency meeting must be convened.

“From my discussions with many farmers this week, it is clear that they do not want to be protesting but there is huge fear as to the viability of beef farming patricularly over the coming weeks,” explained Denis Naughten.

“Before this situation escalates, Minister Creed needs to bring all of the players together under an independent chair to assess the current situation and explore all potential options for the beef sector. 

“As a measure of good will the Government must commit to fast-tracking, as a matter of urgency, the new EU law which will ban 16 unfair trading practices covering agricultural and food products traded in the food supply chain. 

“All farmers want is a fair price for what they produce but clearly someone is making a huge margin at their expense."

It comes as Meat Industry Ireland said it will engage with the leadership of the Beef Plan movement, if it calls off its protests, but it also accused some of the group's members of "unacceptable abuse and intimidation of fellow farmer suppliers, company employees, government assigned veterinarians and other service providers including hauliers".

In a statement, issued by Meat Industry Ireland, it says the current Beef Plan protests which are geared towards disrupting the normal and orderly marketing of beef and lamb will do nothing to resolve the challenges in the marketplace nor the predicament of hard-pressed producers, but that it will engage with them if the protests are called off.

It said that while the group has guidelines, for its members, it says the Beef Plan's leadership has failed to ensure adherence to its own protocols.

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"Indeed, the behaviour of some protestors at certain sites has gone well beyond the guidelines issued by Beef Plan and has resulted in unacceptable abuse and intimidation of fellow farmer suppliers, company employees, government assigned veterinarians and other service providers including hauliers."

The Beef Plan has been protesting outside meat factories since Sunday over poor beef prices.

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