Retailer no-show infuriates Irish farmers

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Retailer no-show infuriates Irish farmers

Related tags Beef

Farmer lobby group Beef Plan Movement has expressed major dissatisfaction that Irish retailers will not be present in talks between producers and processors taking place this week.

This is the latest round of talks between Beef Plan Movement, Meat Industry Ireland and the Irish Farmers Association concerning the prices received by farmers compared to the retail prices. The talks follow a lengthy series of protests outside beef processing facilities.

However, the Beef Plan Movement believe that there should be a retail presence at the talks and, due to their absence, will protest at distribution centres of major retailers.

In a statement provided to Global Meat News, a Beef Plan Movement spokesman said: “Retailers not attending the talks on Monday shows little empathy or willingness to engage with one of its suppliers who also double as their customers in rural Ireland.

“It particularly grates when some of the major retailers are running steak and beef sales while farmers protest and the whole future of beef farming is at stake. Corporate social responsibility and sustainability of their producers should be reason enough to attend the talks.”

The spokesman added that retail representation in the talks is essential. 

“Beef Plan urge the major retailers to reconsider as their involvement will clarify the grey area of requirements for current specifications and ensure that all the main stakeholders in the beef supply chain are present and working towards a viable solution.”

Earlier this month, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed announced the resumption of talks. “There has been significant engagement with stakeholders throughout the duration of this dispute and I believe that there is now a basis for the renewal of talks between the parties.

“We have reached a point where it is critically important for the future of the sector that stakeholders engage in a spirit of compromise to resolve a dispute that has the potential to inflict long term damage on the sector if it continues. It is clear that this can only happen if processors and protesters step back from Court proceedings and illegal blockades, in order to allow space for meaningful talks to proceed.”

The previous round of talks ended with some agreement between all of the parties involved on issues such as an investigation into the beef supply chain​ however the lack of progress made on pricing​ frustrated both the Irish Farmers Association and Beef Plan Movement. 

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