IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Henry Burns said with the next Beef Forum set to take place in the first week of February, Minister Coveney must ensure that the Forum delivers for farmers and insist that the outcomes agreed are properly implemented.
Henry Burns said at the next Forum meeting, Minister Coveney will have to tackle the factories over their commitment to Quality Assurance considering their reluctance to pay a worthwhile incentive for steer and heifers from quality assured farms, as agreed at the Forum meeting in November. He said Minister Coveney and the DAFM have to get fully engaged and take a more hands on approach to ensuring that the Forum outcomes are properly implemented.
Henry Burns said IFA will be insisting that progress is made across the large range of issues agreed at the last Forum including the proper and fair operation of the QPS, removal of severe specifications cuts and replacing them with conditions that suit Irish beef production on weight, age, residency and movements, proper price transparency through a market index, more contracts, opening live exports markets, increased monitoring of carcase trim by the DAFM and a clear market and production plan for bulls.
The IFA Livestock leader said the increase in cattle prices since the IFA protest is positive and prices need to continue to move forward for winter finishers. He said the increase in prices and removal of specification cuts on weight and age since the IFA protests goes to prove how wrong last year’s severe specification cuts from the factories were.