The Independent Farmers of Ireland group has called on Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to clarify the situation in relation to the beef talks between farmers and factories.
A spokesperson for the group called on the Minister to clarify the situation, asking for clarification on “what has been discussed, what has been decided and where to do the peaceful protesters fit into this plan”.
On Wednesday, Minister Creed met separately with farm organisations and Meat Industry Ireland (MII) in an effort to restart the talks.
“The peaceful protesters at the factory gates throughout the country have been ignored and once again it seems that the farmers must do as they are told unquestioningly," the Independent Farmers spokesperson said.
“Therefore, we feel it is necessary once again to ask Minister Creed to clarify the situation, what has been discussed, what has been decided and where do the peaceful protesters fit into this plan? This would seem to be a basic courtesy that should be afforded to the 80,000 beef farmers being driven out of business by the beef industry's excessive profiteering.
“The Independent Farmers of Ireland have always stated that this prolonged dispute is of no use to the farmers, processors or the factory workers and needs to be brought to a successful conclusion for all concerned as quickly as possible," the spokesperson said.
On Monday, Meat Industry Ireland pulled out of the talks over ongoing protests outside factories. This resulted in 17 factories ceasing operations as of Wednesday. This included all Kepak and ABP plants.
Individual farmers remain at the gates of some factories.
On Wednesday evening, both the ICMSA and the Beef Plan Movement said agreement had been reached among the farm organisations which is to be in place before they sit down again for future roundtable beef talks.
Pat McCormack, ICMSA president, said that the agreement sets out a sequence that involves the factories ceasing operation with the protesters lifting their pickets and meaningful talks aimed at a resolution to begin shortly thereafter.
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