'Somebody is making money out of the beef sector and it certainly isn’t the farmer'
As the Beef Plan protests continue into a second week at factories around the country, the group has said it will mobilise more protests unit it says there is a meaningful proposal to give farmers a fair share of the retail margin of beef.
A spokesperson for the group said there are 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 MII statements, Beef Plan are adhering to their peaceful protest guidelines and indeed suspending protests if there are breaches of the guidelines outside any factory.
"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."
"Somebody is making money out of the beef sector and it certainly isn’t the farmer.
"Beef Plan await some engagement from the government and MII on these issues. Farmers do not want or expect handouts – a fair price for a premium product is the request."
It comes as figures from the Department of Agriculture show the beef kill for last week was down 16pc.
The protests have been ongoing since Sunday, July 28 and the group is calling on TDs and the Government to bring in a form of fair trade legislation to show some solidarity and support for beef farmers.
“The government must act to enforce greater transparency in the beef supply chain and enforce the findings of the EU Agricultural Markets Taskforce to avoid unfair trading practices in the food supply chain,” spokesman said.
"Inaction and saying that it is not in their remit is not an option for our elected public representatives to ensure fairness in the beef sector."
Meat Industry Ireland, which represents the meat factories, said up to nine sites are not operating due to the protest.
“It is contemptible that Beef Plan has now, in the face of widespread evidence of unlawful blockading and intimidation, sought to blame factories for hostile actions that are clearly being perpetrated by Beef Plan protestors.
"It is clear from recent social media postings by Beef Plan that they have no control over the disruptive protests which they have initiated, and which have now escalated into outrageous behaviour at many sites,” it said in a statement.
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