Irish consumers are about to feel the bite of the beef dispute.
German supermarket chain Aldi has said it will start re-labelling some Irish beef as “processed in the UK” from today.
The chain said the ongoing pickets outside processing plants in Ireland have led to “industry-wide availability issues” for Irish beef.
It said some of its suppliers have now been forced to process their meat outside the country.
It said its Irish meats are all still Bord Bia approved.
“In light of industry-wide availability issues, to ensure we have a full range of fresh beef and pork products for our customers, some of our Irish beef and pork suppliers have processed Irish beef and pork at their UK based processing facilities, all of which are Quality Assured by Bord Bia,” it said.
“This is clearly reflected on our products’ packaging.
“We have also placed notices in our stores to ensure our customers are fully aware of the situation.”
Talks aimed at ending the dispute were cancelled on Monday; however, the Department of Agriculture is liaising with all sides in a bid to open a fresh round in the coming days.
Meat processors and six farming groups met separately with Agriculture Minister Michael Creed on Wednesday; however, there has been little sign of any breakthrough so far.
The Beef Plan Movement has called for all legal threats against farmers to be dropped before talks begin.
Meat Industry Ireland meanwhile has said protests and blockades at meat processing factories must be lifted.
The Minister of State for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has called on all sides to return to the table.
“This is not in the interest of the factories; this is not in the interests of the farmers,” he said.
“I am asking all sides to step back sit down and see can we get negotiations going so people can sit down.
“If they don’t sit down and discuss the situation we are not going to be able to resolve it.
“Farmers like to farm; farmers like to be working at home; farmers don’t do this unless there is a problem and there is a very serious problem there at the moment. They are producing cattle that they are not getting paid for and that can only last so long.”
Farmers are warning that the prices they are being offered for their cattle dropped once again this year. They are calling for the prices to reflect the importance of their place on the supply chain.
It had been hoped fresh negotiations could get under way as early as this weekend; however, it may be next week before there is any movement.