The first meeting of the Government's Beef Market Taskforce has concluded.

Emerging from the meeting all of the leading farming representative organisations said there was an urgent need for the base price paid for cattle to increase. 

The ICSA said an immediate increase in price is needed, a call backed by the IFA, the Beef Plan Movement and ICMSA.

Speaking to RTÉ News at the conclusion of the meeting the chairperson of Meat Industry Ireland conceded that there was an issue on price.

Phillip Carrol said he was hopeful that meat processors would be in a position to deal with that issue.

The talks got under way with independent chairman, Michael Dowling

However, he said the meat industry in Ireland is dealing with the impact of a prolonged blockade of its facilities. 

He said: "There are signs of an uplift across the European markets, and we would hope that the Irish prices will rise in line with that."

But he warned that the prolonged blockade of meat plants in August and September made things difficult.

He said it was an "impediment" to improving prices, adding that Irish meat processors were "scrambling to find our position back in the market".


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Today's meeting comes after the first attempt to get all of the parties around the same table was abandoned in October after protesters blocked representatives from the meat industry from entering the talks.

The taskforce was setup following marathon talks when the beef blockades ended in September.

It is aimed at examining a range of issues and there are almost 40 actions that the taskforce has to carry out.

The process has been stalled for weeks as the main farm organisations had refused to attend because injunctions remained in place against two Co Longford farmers.

However, last week C&D Pet Foods in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, agreed to lift the injunctions, clearing the way for the group to meet.

This is the first of many similar meetings at which the big issues facing beef farmers are thrashed out.