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Beef options will be taken off some menus at restaurants from next week due to 'zero supply'

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has called on farmers to stop the blockades at beef factories.

Steak will be removed from some restaurant menus from next week, the RAI has said.
Steak will be removed from some restaurant menus from next week, the RAI has said.
Image: Shutterstock/Jacek Chabraszewski

RESTAURANTS HAVE WARNED they will be forced to remove beef options from menus from next week as a result of the ongoing beef dispute between farmers and factories. 

The Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) has made a call on farmers to lift the blockade, which is stopping meat from entering and leaving factories in a dispute over beef prices. 

The RAI said it was fully supporting beef farmers and farming families but that all parties involved should stop the blockades and reflect on the deal negotiated with Agriculture Minister Michael Creed last weekend. 

CEO Adrian Cummins said: “If the blockade isn’t lifted soon some restaurants won’t have beef on the menu from next week due to zero supply from meat distributors.”

“We are currently working night and day to help restaurants secure beef for the weeks ahead,” he added.

“I would like to say to the farmers on the picket lines, the people of Ireland are behind you and are behind you. Now is the team to wear the Green Jersey in the interest of Irish Businesses, international reputation, jobs and the future of Irish food exports.”

Deal

Last weekend, representatives from Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and farming organisations held talks for more than 30 hours in a bid to find a solution to the dispute. 

It resulted in a deal which involved all legal actions being withdrawn and blockades lifted from outside meat processing factories. 

The deal provided increased bonuses for farmers for their produce but did nothing to increase the baseline price of beef which farmers claim is too low. 

Farming representatives then returned to farmers on the picket line with the deal but many refused to accept the terms of the new deal. 

Gerard Gough of Independent Farmers of Ireland told RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke programme that farmers were afraid to sign up to the deal over a lack of trust and a failure to increase the baseline. 

“They’re afraid they’ll sign up for a deal today and bang, it’s going to be gone tomorrow… When I was trying to sell it… what the farmers couldn’t understand was why MII and the factories didn’t come to the roundtable talks,” he said. 

The pickets have continued outside factories and processing plants, and as beef is not getting in or out of the factories as a result, a number of employees have been temporarily laid off. 

Yesterday, ABP Food Group confirmed that it is temporarily laying off the 355 staff at its Cahir plant as a result of “ongoing illegal blockades at the site”. 

It warned that a further 182 jobs are threatened to be laid off before the end of the week. 

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