Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has welcomed the agreement reached at the Beef Roundtable in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“Committing to a process of dialogue on non-price issues, however tough and prolonged, has been vindicated as the only way of moving forward,” Ciaran Fitzgerald, MII Chairman, said.

He went on to say that substantial progress has been made on issues which the farming representative bodies have highlighted as being of importance to them. “These areas have now been dealt with and addressed and this proves that the Beef Roundtable process has worked and it is the only viable manner through which stakeholders should raise concerns and move the industry forward. Protests and business closures serve only to hold us back.”

He said that MII recognise the importance of dialogue and communication in terms of resolving issues. “We have been available to meet farmer representatives throughout the last number of months. Furthermore we have at all times remained fully committed to the Roundtable process, and the most recent period of intensive dialogue.

“We should now all build on the progress that has been made through the Roundtable process. Despite what has been a challenging year in the marketplace, with significantly reduced beef consumption across Europe, Irish beef output will again exceed €2bn in value. The future of this sector is very positive and the Roundtable process provides the appropriate forum for discussions on a range of aspects that concern this important sector.”