IFA President John Bryan has launched a Profit Plan for the Beef + Livestock sector this week which identifies €450m in additional profit potential for livestock farmers. The IFA Profit Plan has been submitted to the Food Harvest 2020 Beef Implementation committee, recently established by the Government.
Mr Bryan said “In our Profit Plan, IFA has proposed 54 specific action points and recommendations on beef and livestock for implementation by the Food Harvest Committee which met for the first time this week.”
He said, “Profitability at farm level is essential for the beef and livestock sector to achieve the 20% increase in output value targeted in the Food Harvest 2020 report. It correctly identified the closing of the price differential between Ireland and other premium competitors in the UK and EU as the key challenge facing the beef sector.”
IFA National Livestock Chairman Michael Doran said the main points contained in the IFA Submission include:
Processors must close the unacceptable price gap between Irish and UK/ EU cattle prices on our main export markets in order to return sustainable profit at farm level;
Increased cattle price competition by maximising market access and live export opportunities;
Cattle price contracts at profitable levels for winter finishers and other beef production systems;
Properly rewarding farmers for quality production;
Delivery by An Bord Bia in developing and promoting the Brand Ireland concept to achieve pride of place on supermarket shelves and a premium price for Irish beef;
A strong Government beef and livestock policy which will secure the future of direct payments including the Single Farm Payment in CAP 2013, Disadvantaged Areas, REPS, AEOS and the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme;
Strongly defending the Irish beef sector in the Mercosur negotiations and on EU import standards;
Maintaining and growing the National asset that is our one million head beef suckler cow herd;
An effective Teagasc programme and ICBF beef breeding strategy to deliver improved technical efficiency and productivity at farm level;
Reducing excessive regulation, bureaucracy and costs on production.
The IFA President said beef and livestock is Ireland’s largest farming sector with an output value close to €2bn and employing 150,000 people. It includes beef exports of 500,000t and live cattle exports of over 300,000 head. “Given the importance of the beef and livestock sector to the Irish economy, profit and growth at farm level are essential to Ireland’s economic recovery, maintaining jobs and exports.”