A Galway farmer has recounted the lengthy delay he experienced in getting full payment for cattle from the Clare-based meat processor Asba Meats.

The farmer, who contacted the Irish Farmers Journal, has been seeking full payment for cattle from the factory since August of last year.

The farmer, who did not wish to be named, supplied a load of 14 cattle to Asba Meats in late July. The value of the cattle, after deductions, was in excess of €29,300.

The agreement with the factory agent was that the farmer would be paid for the animals within three weeks. However, he was not paid by mid-August.

Since then, the farmer has been in continual contact with Asba Meats - which has a slaughter facility at Drumquin outside Ennis and a boning facility in Shannon - by phone, email, text and WhatsApp, seeking payment.

His main point of contact at the firm has been Asba Meats senior executive Tareq Khan.

Although Khan replied to some of the WhatsApp and text messages, he did not respond to the farmer’s emails.

From September 2023, the farmer started visiting Asba Meats’ slaughtering and boning sites in Ennis and Shannon.

At a meeting with Khan in mid-September, he received an assurance that a payment would issue to the farmer from the company’s HSBC bank account in Belfast. However, although he got notice of an electronic transfer of funds, no money arrived in his account.

The farmer finally received €5,000 in November of 2023. He received a further €12,000 last December.

Two further payments of €6,000 and €3,000 followed in March, taking the total amount paid to €26,000.

As we went to press, Khan told the Irish Farmers Journal that payment of the outstanding €3,300 was being processed.

Asked why it had taken so long to pay the farmer, Khan said it was a “mistake”.

“There is just €3,000 left. Just before you rang I was talking to him; and I said tomorrow to call at 4pm and we will get it sorted,” Khan said. He previously told the Irish Farmers Journal that Asba’s payment delays were related to its computer system being hacked and that they are in the process of paying all farmers with outstanding debts.