A planned €6.5m investment in Kepak’s Tiermaclane facility is to be postponed on the back of illegal blockades at the entrance to the meat processing plant.
On Tuesday evening, Kepak confirmed it is “indefinitely” deferring a major investment to its Clare facility which it maintained had been one of the most severely affected locations due to the ongoing protests by farmers.
As reported by The Clare Echo last week, Kepak’s staff of 48 in Clare have been temporarily laid off because of the presence of demonstrating farmers at the entrance to the site since the beginning of August. 1,400 people have been laid off by the company across the country.
“Irish beef prices are on a par with the main EU markets into which we export some 90% of Irish beef”, Kepak claimed in a statement. “It is Kepak’s conviction that the solution to these weak market prices is an EU-wide challenge and will not be resolved by illegal blockades of Irish meat processors. The short-term hardship and financial stress imposed on staff and farmers, exacerbated by an overhang of factory ready stock, arising from the illegal blockades, is extreme and indiscriminate”.
“It is critical that blockades are lifted to allow farmers and the industry to resume normal activity before it suffers irreparable damage and losses,” the statement concluded.