Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, expressed his disappointment at the developments in relation to the beef dispute, and urged the parties to engage in a positive way to resolve the current impasse.
The Minister revealed that he has been engaging with the chairman of the beef talks following Meat Industry Ireland’s (MII) decision to take itself away from the negotiating table.
“Despite [MII’s decision], I have made the chairman of the talks available to all parties with a view to determining a basis to get the parties back to the table,” Minister Creed revealed.
“I remain convinced that that the only way to resolve these significant challenges for the sector is by negotiation, and that progress can be made on key issues if the parties approach talks in a positive spirit.”
The Minister said that he was concerned that recent events will “only serve to entrench positions and risk prolonging this very damaging dispute”.
“I can certainly understand farmer frustration at market conditions that see many producing beef at a significant loss and of course of the closure of meat plants is in nobody’s best interests,” he explained.
“Processors and farmers are mutually dependent and the future of the beef sector depends on the development of a commercial relationship built on a recognition that this is the case.”
The Minister has been meeting with protesting farmers from across the country, and has claimed that the nature of this protest is complex and that channels of communication are unclear.
“The normal channels of engagement which may apply to such disputes regrettably have not applied as effectively in this instance,” he said.
“I ask MII to reflect on this reality and to make every effort to avoid action that might lead to a further deterioration in relationships in what is already an intractable dispute.”
“I would repeat my request that all stakeholders consider their positions carefully now, and take a step back from action that has the potential to be damaging for the sector as a whole, in order to allow space for meaningful talks to take place,” the Minister concluded.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.