This issue was raised at the recent beef stakeholder talks chaired by an independent chairperson and facilitated by my Department. Significant progress was made on a range of issues after long and detailed negotiations, including in relation to improvements in transparency along the supply chain, and in communications between industry and farmers and a review of some market specifications.
Full details of the Backweston Agreement are available at:
My Department is actively progressing relevant commitments, including, for example, starting the procurement process for an in-depth review of market and customer criteria and an independent study of price composition along the supply chain.
There has been significant engagement with stakeholders throughout the duration of this dispute and I believe that there is now a basis for the renewal of talks between the parties. These talks have been scheduled for next Monday 9th September.
We have reached a point where it is critically important for the future of the sector that stakeholders engage in a spirit of compromise to resolve a dispute that has the potential to inflict long term damage on the sector if it continues. It is clear that this can only happen if processors and protestors step back from Court proceedings and illegal blockades, in order to allow space for meaningful talks to proceed.