Coveney Secures Deal Between Farmers And Processors

Simon Coveney, Agriculture Minister, has secured an agreement between farmers and processors, to take part in what has been described as "intensive discussions".

The latest round of talks involved processors, farm bodies and other stakeholders within the beef sector. The meeting covered a number of areas, but ultimately focused on the strategic development of the beef sector. This was the third meeting of the Beef Roundtable, but for the first time, it included the buyers of Tesco and McDonalds.

Following the talks, Minister Coveney said the engagement was "very useful and constructive and had two significant outcomes".

It is understood that the farm groups and processors will now take part in talks over the next two weeks on the commercial issues in dispute, which will be independently chaired by Michael Dowling.

In addition, Minister Coveney also secured support from stakeholders to set up a farmer-owned Producer Organisations in the beef sector, which could help to rebalance negotiating power.

The Minister said: "I am fully aware that beef farmers have had a challenging year having seen reduced prices for their animals compared to this time last year. I welcome the honest exchange of views between stakeholders.

"There are areas of disagreement between stakeholders in the sector right now, but this simply reinforces the need for constructive dialogue on issues of strategic importance. This Beef Forum is a vehicle for this kind of engagement and I am grateful to those who have agreed to participate today and I welcome their contribution to the debate on the development of this critically important sector.

"I have secured agreement from the stakeholders to engage intensively on the commercial issues in dispute, and I have agreed to hold another meeting of the forum in two weeks time."


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