IFA President Eddie Downey and National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns met with senior executives from Tesco in Dublin today to the discuss the difficulties in the beef sector and branding and labelling issues on cattle exported to Northern Ireland as well as specifications.
After the meeting, Eddie Downey said Tesco outlined to the IFA that they will positively engage and work towards finding a solution regarding the branding and labelling issues on Irish cattle exported to Northern Ireland.
Eddie Downey said the IFA clearly explained the complex issues around the branding and labelling of cattle that are exported North and put forward proposals to enable a solution. He said this is a specific issue that requires a specific solution. He said “IFA working with the Northern Ireland beef processors as well as Minister Coveney and Minister O’Neill from Northern Ireland, have put forward proposals that can progress this issue.”
The IFA President said it is very important that there is full support from all sectors to find a solution to this problem and Tesco made it clear that they will engage positively and quickly in this regard. Earlier this week, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney told the IFA he also met with Tesco supporting the proposals for a solution on the cattle exported from the Republic to Northern Ireland.
Eddie Downey said IFA outlined the current price and specification difficulties impacting severely on beef farm incomes to Tesco. He said the specification for the Irish beef sector has to take account of our high quality suckler beef production systems which are based on grass and later maturing continental breeds. “This is the basis of Irelands top quality beef systems and our marketing drive around Origin Green and Quality Assurance. Forcing a specification based on intensively fed younger and lighter animals would be the wrong direction for Ireland.”