Protests by individual beef farmers are continuing at a number of beef processing sites across the country.
ABP and Dawn Meats have been granted an injunction in the High Court to stop protesters from blocking the entry and exit at its facilities.
A spokesperson for ABP said, “The granting of the injunction clarifies that these protests were totally unwarranted and unlawful.”
In a statement, Dawn Meats said: "We cannot allow our staff, customers and suppliers to be further damaged by these protests,"
A document – which outlines the following list of demands of protesters – has been circulated;
- 30-month age limit – Remove the 30-month age limit for QPS qualification, only a small percentage of beef sold is required to be under 30-months of age, in this instance, leave farmers be paid bonuses for producing cattle under 30-months.
- 24-month age limit – same as above;
- 70-day residency removed – If any animal is once quality-assured, it should always remain quality-assured;
- 4-movement rules gone – Establish the exact requirements on movements which be allowed when establishing a base price;
- Put Irish beef farmers first – A huge percentage of beef is exported in this country, yet beef continues to be imported into Ireland. Make Irish beef a priority. Stop imports, put Irish beef first;
- Farmers are operating at a loss – Establish an independent review of the beef supply chain chaired by members of the EU trading standards to establish the value of a complete beef carcass including the fifth-quarter and the percentage of this allocated to the primary producers. Farmers continue to produce beef at a loss; we would like a percentage of the price of our beef sold by the retailer that reflects our work fairly and allows us to make a continuous profit. If the retailer offers a special, they take the hit, not the farmer. The farming industry must remain able to continuously make a profitable margin; sustainability is key.
- Protecting farmers – Processors must agree not to discriminate against any person who stood on a picket line with any beef-related protest;
- Quality-assurance – A review of Bord Bia certification that awards the same certification to grass-fed beef as intensively-produced feedlot cattle;
- Accurate information – Independent outside arbitration in the forthcoming review of the QPS system to ensure all sides are supplying accurate information;
- An explanation – A statement from Minister Creed and Fine Gael explaining how they feel the beef talks have reached a successful conclusion. The beef industry generates 2.9 billion every year, yet the primary producer is threatened with legal action by big businesses and prevented from looking for a wage increase by the Competition Authority.
Image source: Independent Farmers of Ireland \ Facebook