IFA President Eddie Downey has welcomed the statement from Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney that there can be no delay or sidestepping in the implementation of the outcomes from the Beef Forum. He said IFA has made it very clear that the Minister must ensure that all of the agreed outcomes from the beef forum are fully implemented, in line with the timeframes laid down.
Eddie Downey said there is an urgency to progress the issue on the Quality Assurance incentive, which is due to be implemented from January 1st. “ IFA has requested Minister Coveney to get the Department of Agriculture to arrange and chair an immediate meeting in line with the procedure agreed in the Beef Forum on this issue. Both IFA and MII consider it is very important that the Department of Agriculture be involved in this process.”
Eddie Downey said IFA has raised a number of issues with the Minister where individual meat plants have imposed dual base prices around non-Quality Assured stock and weight penalties contrary to what was agreed at the Beef Forum. Eddie Downey told the Minister that this is a very serious issue that he must take up with directly with MII and the factories.
Eddie Downey said the Beef Forum outcome is very clear and states: “processors agree there will be no dual base pricing for steers or heifers in individual processing plants, by breed, age or weight or Quality Assurance status.” The Beef Forum outcome also states: “Processors will agree not to impose any price penalties on any animals based on weight up to 31st December 2015.”
IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said cattle prices remain stable with factories paying 5c to 10c over quoted prices. He said the Department of Agriculture reported prices for last week, Dec 7th show the average R3 steer price at €3.94/kg and top prices paid of €4.04/4.05 including bonuses. He said the Department heifer prices show the factories paid an average of €4.07/kg for R3 heifers with top prices including bonuses of €4.19/kg.
Henry Burns said farmers are also negotiating improved deals on over 30 month stock and bulls with flat prices of €3.90 to €4.00/kg being paid.