Operations have now been brought to a halt at 12 beef processing plants across the country, according to Meat Industry Ireland.
This has led to staff lay-offs and significant losses, according to a spokesperson. “It is the illegal blockading of processing sites that is forcing companies into staff lay-offs.
The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers' Association have outlined the compromise proposals they have made to Minister Creed to help resolve the beef crisis. The proposal centres on the payment of 12c bonus for in-spec animals.
Currently in order for a farmer to receive the bonus they have to comply with four key conditions those being
- Membership of the Board Bia Quality-Assurance Scheme;
- Animal slaughtered must have been on the farm for the previous 60 days which was reduced from 70 days last week;
- Have not exceeded 4 farm movements;
- Must be under 30 months.
“The requirement to comply with all four conditions is “onerous on farmers but it does also provide for an obvious solution that we would hope MII would accept.” National President Colm O’Donnell said.
“This solution involves making a bonus payment of 3c/kg on each condition complied with so a 31-month-old animal would still receive a 9c bonus if the other three conditions are met.” he added.
This proposal can, stated the INHFA President, “deliver a fair compromise and we are now asking Minister Creed to immediately reconvene talks with a view to getting this agreed.”
He concluded by pointing to a precedent that already exists in the organic sector where organic beef animals remain in-spec up to 36 months which he explained “totally undermines MII’s argument in relation to the 30-month rule”.