Farmers plan disruptive 24-hour protest

IFA planning picket to highlight cattle price reductions

Eddie Downey said farmer anger with the meat factories was ‘boiling over’. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Farmers will hold a countrywide 24-hour protest outside meat factories on Monday to highlight their discontent with beef prices, said the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The protest will begin at 3pm on the bank holiday and is expected to cause disruption to the factories’ kill on Tuesday. The protest comes as factories ramp up activity to prepare for the pre-Christmas spike in demand.

IFA president Eddie Downey said farmer anger with the meat factories was "boiling over" because they were now receiving €350 per head less for their cattle than their counterparts in the UK.

“Farmers have had enough and are not prepared to tolerate loss-making prices any longer,” he said, “especially when markets are returning much higher prices.”

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"Farmers cannot continue to sell cattle at a loss. Teagasc figures show that on our most efficient farms, producers need a base price of at least €4 per kilo to make a small margin."

Meat Industry Ireland has said that the weakening in prices is due to an increase in production and a fall in EU consumption.

Alison Healy

Alison Healy

Alison Healy is a contributor to The Irish Times