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Beef protests suspended as farmers to enter talks with meat industry, Department says

Farmers around the country have been holding protests in recent weeks.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed
Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

THE BEEF PLAN MOVEMENT and Meat Industry Ireland have accepted compromise proposals aimed at ending the ongoing dispute over beef prices, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has confirmed.

The Beef Plan Movement is an independent group set up by farmers who feel they are not getting value for money for their cattle. 

Over the past couple of weeks, multiple protests have popped up in 22 sites across the country.

This evening, Creed confirmed that the Beef Plan Movement and Meat Industry Ireland have accepted his compromise talks. 

All protests at meat processing plants and legal proceedings are to be suspended with immediate effect until the agreed talks have concluded, the Department of Agriculture said in a statement. 

A meeting will be held on Monday 12 August involving both the Beef Plan Movement and the Meat Industry Ireland. The meeting will also include representatives from the farm organisations, the Department and its agencies, the Department said. 

The Minister will appoint an independent chairperson who will preside over an agreed agenda.

This announcement comes after Creed yesterday said his offer of talks with farmers protesting had been rejected, amid reports of job losses at processing plants. 

In a statement, Creed said that his office tried to “reach out” to enter talks and temporarily suspend their protests. 

A spokesperson for the movement confirmed to TheJournal.ie earlier this afternoon that the protest at Charleville had been stood down after a small number of demonstrators arrived and “wouldn’t obey the rules and guidelines”. 

The Irish Farmers’ Journal reported this evening that in a statement issued on its Whatsapp group network, the Beef Plan Movement wrote: “An agreement has been reached with Minister Creed, following what we and others consider to be heavy-handed tactics by Meat Industry Ireland through the introduction of legal proceedings that could ultimately end in the High Court.”

The Beef Plan Movement has yet to issue an official statement on this evening’s announcement. 

TheJournal.ie contacted two spokespeople from the movement this evening, however, there appeared to be some confusion surrounding the confirmation of talks because not all parties had received official communications. 

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