IFA President Eddie Downey said he had a positive meeting with senior executives from Tesco in the UK this week and discussed several issues of importance to Irish beef farmers.
Eddie Downey said Tesco reported that beef sales have rebounded strongly in the last 12 months, particularly for steak and round cuts. The message from Tesco is that they anticipate 2015 to be a strong year of demand for beef.
IFA raised the specification issues with Tesco and especially the need to move from 30 to 36 months of age for prime cattle. He said Tesco agreed to seriously examine this move and will report back later in the year.
The IFA President also raised the labelling issue around Irish cattle exported to Northern Ireland for feeding and slaughter and said that further progress was needed to resolve this issue.
Eddie Downey said Tesco is a major purchaser of Irish beef for both the domestic market and for exports to the UK, where it is the largest retail chain.