The Beef Plan Movement is set to continue its protests at meat factory gates into a second week as the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed comes under increased pressure to intervene in the dispute.
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On Friday, Fianna Fail joined a now chorus of calls including former Minister Denis Naughten for the Minister to bring both sides to the table to find a resolution to the dispute.
Recent months have seen beef farmers hit with a host of blows including Brexit fallout, Mercosur and US trade deals as well as increased pressure over their environmental performance.
Late last week, US President Donald Trump hailed a deal to sell more American beef to Europe a move which farmers have described as another example of beef farmers being sacrificed for other sectors.
Processors have to date refused to engage with the Beef Plan Movement until they call off the protests despite significant disruption to processing last week.
A spokesperson for the Beef Plan group said it has asked the processors through Meat Industry Ireland (MII) to make what it considers a reasonable proposal on what they intend to do that returns a cost of production plus a margin to beef farmers in the context that the consumer is now paying more for beef in the shops while the farmer is being paid considerably less.
Fianna Fail's Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue said it was high time the Minister for Agriculture became engaged and tried to address the growing crisis in the Beef Sector.
"This week has seen rolling protests by the Beef Plan Movement at factory gates across the country as well as demonstrations by the IFA at the EU Veterinary Office in Co Meath. ■
A large-scale blocking pattern over North America is leading to a series of upper level disturbances tracking across the southern tier and off the East Coast this weekend, while a robust ridge of high pressure forms over the North Central U.S, and southern Canada.