A group of up to 200 farmers said they will continue their protest at a retail distribution center in County Kildare, until progress is made on their demands.
Individual Farmers of Ireland (IFI) started the ‘No Farmers, No Food’ protest at the Musgraves distribution center in Kilcock yesterday (Sunday 12 December).
Tractors, jeeps and other vehicles are parked on both sides of the access roads to the center, but the IFI said the main entrance to the site is not blocked.
Organizers say up to 100 vehicles from around 20 counties are currently on the site.
An Garda Síochána is also on the site of the event and traffic is allowed to pass along the road.
The IFI said distribution center staff are allowed to enter and exit the site and some private truck units have also been made easier to exit the center.
However, no trucks with food containers will be allowed to access the facility; IFI claimed that a truck that arrived at the center at 3:00 am today (Monday, December 13) was blocked by protesters.
The IFI claimed that Musgraves contacted the group via An Garda Síochána to ask questions about the action; it is believed that access for staff was one of the issues.
The IFI said the protest will continue until there is progress or commitments made on its list of demands.
“We don’t come home empty-handed,” a spokesperson said Agriland.
“We can’t believe how many new people have arrived this morning; there is a tremendous level of genuine support.
“This is the last position. The government must realize the problems of agriculture and stop hiding them under the rug. Unless the profitability of agriculture improves, we face a write-off, ”the spokesperson added.
Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue is currently in Brussels for a meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH).
It is understood that the IFI has not yet made official contact with the minister’s office with its list of requests.
The IFI calls for the figure of 35% of carbon emissions attributed to the agricultural sector to be “corrected”.
The group said this was a “wrong number” because it did not take into account the carbon sequestered by grass, crops and hedges.
The IFI also wants the carbon tax on agricultural diesel to be canceled until alternative fuels are available for the sector.
The IFI regrets that 25% of BPS payments are reserved for eco-programs.
“It asks farmers to do more for the environment for less,” said a spokesperson.
The protest group said reducing the slaughter age for beef cattle to 24 months “will destroy our image as grass-fed beef.”
The IFI also calls for the resignation of Green MEP Ciaran Cuffe.
Midlands North West MEP recently wrote a letter to banks outlining his concerns about lending money to farmers, which the IFI said would be “a disaster for the economy and rural Ireland” if such approach was adopted by credit institutions.
The MEP has since admitted that it was wrong to focus his attention on young farmers when the whole economy must work to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Meanwhile, the Irish Truckers and Transport Association Against Fuel Prices group returns to Dublin today as part of their protest against fuel prices.
Carriers, truck drivers and utility vehicle owners gathered this morning across the country and are traveling in convoys along highways to the city.
According to the group Facebook page, carriers can go to port of dublin, but if detours prevent it, the area around the docks can be blocked off instead.
Gardaí said he was aware of a protest today (Monday, December 13) and warned motorists of the expected delays as a result:
“It is possible that traffic will be disrupted during peak hours Monday morning due to a planned demonstration by carriers. The public is encouraged to plan all necessary trips on Mondays and to use public transportation, walking and cycling whenever possible. “
Several streets in Dublin city center, including Kildare Street and Molesworth Street, were closed ahead of the protest.
The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has distanced itself from the protest action, and retailers have also criticized the action’s impact on trade in the run-up to Christmas.