Over 350 people attended a “Beef Plan” meeting in Donegal on Wednesday night where the low prices being paid to beef farmers was highlighted.

This was the seventh in a series of public meetings being held all around the country.

Over the past two decades, farmers’ profits have been eaten into by beef processors and retailers.

And they claim that their profit levels have "vanished".

But a group of farmers based in Meath have come together and are using producer groups to sell their output.

And they have also come together to set up purchasing groups in order to reduce the price of inputs.

Already 15,000 people have signed up and become members.

But the group believes that it needs to have 40,000 people – to give it real clout.

And they want Donegal farmers to sign up, get involved, and help push for a better fututre.

The  Beef Plan chairman, Eamon Corley said that they intend to set up a county committee in every country.

He called on those present to each go out and get three other farmers signed up and involved.

Meath based farmer, Kieran Logue who is originally from Kerrykeel in Co. Donegal, also appealed to Donegal farmers to sign up.

“We are prepared to give you a producer group and purchasing group and membership for a tenner,” he said.

“Once you are into a purchasing group, it is there for you, we have deals done,” he said, adding: “People giving us the deals are willing to help you put some money back into your own pocket."

Based on their experiences, the group has now set up a Beef Plan for the period 2018 – 2025.

It has over 80 points.

One of the biggest gripes is that beef farmers are now getting less than 20% of the final retail price, half the figure of 2004.

Praising the Beef Plan movement, the manager of Donegal Town Mart, Eimear McGuinness, said: “Producer purchase groups will save you money. Why would you not do it?”

Those in attendance were asked to leave their names.

Among those in attendance were  Deputy Charlie McConalogue, and Cllrs. Liam Blaney and James Pat McDaid.

See next week's Donegal Post, Inish Times, Letterkenny Post and Finn Valley Post for more.

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