IFA campaign for beef price increase continues with blockade in Cork

IFA campaign for beef price increase continues with blockade in Cork

IFA campaign for beef price increase continues with blockade in Cork

The Irish Farmers' Association is blockading the Lidl distribution centre in Charleville, Co.

The blockades come on the same week of the first meeting of the government's Beef Market Taskforce, with representative organisations including the IFA, the ICSA (Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association), the ICMSA (Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association) and the BPM (Beef Plan Movement) calling for an increase in beef prices.

Two tractors blocked two main entry and exit points at the Aldi distribution centre in Naas, preventing lorries entering or exiting the centre.

The IFA said it is "demanding a significant and immediate beef price increase to bring the Irish beef price at least in line with the Bord Bia European Export Benchmark Price Index".

The organisation says protests will continue until there is a significant increase.

The spokesperson said: "The company is at a complete loss to understand why Joe Healy, the outgoing IFA president, pursued a course of irresponsible, disruptive and illegal action at retail distribution centres this week".

The statement continued: "Aldi received no request for engagement on this issue from any member of the IFA leadership, no communication about specific concerns about the mechanics of the beef market, including age specification, and no warning of any grievance the IFA had before this morning". The IFA has accused retailers of working "hand in glove with processors".

They've warned that unless beef prices increase, more protests will be carried out.

"This will continue and we have to get a price increase because our farmers can't take any more of it", said Mr Healy.

"All the parties to the talks, including the meat industry, are saying they want a deal", Coughlan said.

Dairy and beef farmer Harold Kingston, chairman of the IFA's Cork Central branch, said: "I get about €800 per head of cattle at the factory".

Farmers here are earning an average of 44c less per kilo, when compared to their counterparts across the border in Northern Ireland.

The demonstrations follow a meeting earlier this week of the Beef Task Force - a body that was established to address the issues that prompted farmers' protests at meat processing plants around the country.

"Meat Industry Ireland have always said that they can't talk about price but price is the big issue". "The best we could get from them was that they would consult with their members". "Have you no cattle to mind?"

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