A dispute between Irish farmers and processors over beef prices that has cut production and caused a wave of temporary layoffs could hit exports from one of the world’s largest suppliers, the Irish Food Board warned on Wednesday.
The row, which began in late July with the picketing of meat factories by a grassroots group of farmers, deepened on Monday when representatives of processors walked away from government initiated talks to resolve the impasse.
Meat Industry Ireland said on Tuesday that its members had temporarily laid off 3,000 employees after the blockading of their factories resulted in the closure of some 80% of overall processing capacity.
As Ireland consumes just 10% of the beef it produces, there will be no threat of products disappearing from Irish shelves, said Tara McCarthy, head of the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia.
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