IFA President Tim Cullinan said the change by Bord Bia to include young bulls in its grass fed standard is the right thing to do for farmers.
Following consultation with the IFA over recent weeks, Tim Cullinan said Bord Bia has now agreed to the following changes to the grass fed standard;
- To adapt the scope of the grass fed standard to accommodate young bull beef. This change means young bull beef will now be eligible to be included in the grass fed standard, along with steers, heifers and cows.
- To provide that the first nine months of an animal’s life (including young bulls) will be deemed as grass fed regardless of whether they were on QA (Quality Assured) or non-QA farm(s).
- To treat young bulls the same as other animal categories with their qualification as grass fed being dependent on meeting the criteria of the standard concerning the proportion of grass in the diet and grazing days.
Tim Cullinan said IFA could never agree to the exclusion of young bull beef from the grass fed standard and insisted that this category of animal was treated along similar lines to all other types.
“I want to acknowledge the fact that Bord Bia has listened to reason on this matter and adopted a flexible approach in order that to maximise the proportion of beef that will qualify as grass fed”.
“Not all young bull beef systems will fit into the grass fed standard, but if farmers operate their system to meet the criteria, they will now be able to qualify,” he said.
“These changes apply to the Bord Bia Grass fed standard. Bord Bia had originally intended this to be the basis for Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI) application. However, this needs far more discussion before it proceeds any further,” he said.