A task force on the beef market will be set up to ensure the implementation of the commitments made under the agreement. IFA President Joe Healy warned that the agreement was „far from a perfect agreement“ and that some aspects „will require much more work.“ Producers will immediately benefit from higher cattle prices at the factory gate and a beef market task force will be set up to develop a pathway for the future of the sector. The discussions that took place over the weekend after a long period of protests outside the beef processing plants in Ireland were aimed at resolving disputes over prices paid to producers and retail prices. They covered the Meat Industry Ireland (MII) processor trading organisation, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) and farmers` lobby groups, including Beef Plan Movement. Other agreed conditions include a reduction in the residence requirement from 70 days to 60 days on the last farm and a new price index for the Bord Bia beef market covering livestock and market prices for beef in our main export markets and offal (see box). Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said all parties to the dispute had approved the agreement that provides for higher prices for cattle producers and industry reform. The IDM spokesman added that the dispute had caused serious damage to the Irish meat industry. „This is an extremely damaging episode for all players in the beef and sheep sector. It came at a time when the EU beef market presents considerable and persistent challenges. This is particularly worrying, given the proximity of Brexit and the significant impact that a non-agreed outcome can have on our sector. „The agreement requires that all illegal protests and blockades cease immediately, so that normal processing can resume, employees can return to work, farmers can sell their animals and efforts can be made to restore customer confidence.“ After a marathon at the Ministry of Agriculture, an agreement was reached to end the beef dispute. The meat industry, Ireland, welcomed the conclusion of the beef negotiations, but warned that the seven-week dispute had been „an extremely damaging episode for all concerned in the beef and sheep sectors.“ „I hope this agreement will be a first step towards promoting stronger partnerships in this sector that is critical to the Irish economy and rural Ireland.“ An agreement has been reached between representatives of the meat industry and agricultural organisations on a two-stage agreement on the reform of Ireland`s beef sector, the agriculture minister said.