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Factories given ultimatum that beef prices "have to be improved" or the future of the suckler trade is at stake

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Protest: Farmers picketing outside Dawn Meats plant in Grannagh. Photo: Eamonn Farrell

Protest: Farmers picketing outside Dawn Meats plant in Grannagh. Photo: Eamonn Farrell

RollingNews.ie

Protest: Farmers picketing outside Dawn Meats plant in Grannagh. Photo: Eamonn Farrell

An ultimatum that the price "has to be improved" or the future of the suckler trade is at stake, has been delivered to the beef factories by the IFA under a revitalised commitment to deliver for farmers.

And An Taoiseach, Leo Varadaker has been given a deadline of today Friday to pay out the €25m balance of the BEAM fund to producers with IFA "going to ramp up a campaign to ensure that he does it".

Just days after taking up office as the 16th President of the IFA and the fourth Tipperary farmer to hold the office, Tim Cullinan has reiterated his campaign commitment to " to put the fight back into farmers and into IFA" at a celebration function at the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh on Saturday night.

He told the gathering of more than 300 representatives of IFA grassroots from the four corners of the country that he has drawn up a "very clear road map for the recovery of farming" and with a strong mandate from the membership "we are going to fight" the crucial issues to secure recovery in farm incomes and " hold politicians to account" on their commitments.

"The reality is that if we can't get a solution on this (beef prices) we won't have an industry in Ireland. I already have met a number of the key players in the industry. I have met some of the CEO's of the larger factories and have put it to them that they have to do something about getting the prices or they won't have the farmers because it is very clear that is where we are at" he said.

"The Irish price to-day is 50c/kg behind the UK price and that is wrong. I will be putting a lot of pressure on the factories over the coming weeks because that price has to be improved" he added.

On the €100m BEAM fund he claimed that the herd reduction criteria in the scheme has been responsible for €25m being left in the fund.

"I have aksed the Taoiseach to ensure that money is paid out to farmers before the general election and we are now going to ramp up a campaign to ensure that he does it" he said.

"That money was put there to compensate farmers who lost a lot of money on beef animals and he has to deliver on that" he stressed.

He warned the Government that farmers will be insisting on a €1bn compensation fund for farmers if the Brexit deal goes wrong and will "have to ensure a trade deal that will not have WTO rules" because farmers must have the opportunity to get food exports off this island.

Suckler cow support of €300/hd, ewe aid of €30/head and €10,000 per farm environmental scheme for disadvantaged areas are also included in his programme for delivery.

The attendance included Brian Rushe, Deputy President, Damien McDonald, Chief Executive, John Dillon, former president, Michael Berkery, former Chief Executive, present and past county officers from the four corners of the country.

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