IFA President John Bryan and National Livestock Chairman Michael Doran have presented details of the IFA Profit Plan for the Beef + Livestock sector to Mr. Michael Dowling, chairman of the Food Harvest 2020 Implementation Committee for beef.
In a meeting in the Irish Farm Centre, John Bryan 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. He said the 2020 report has correctly identified the closing of the price differential between Ireland and other premium competitors in the UK and EU markets as the key challenge facing the beef sector.
The IFA President said we went through the details of the 54 specific action points and recommendations proposed by IFA for implementation by the Food Harvest Committee. He said the IFA plan has identified €450m in additional profit potential for livestock farmers.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Michael Doran said the main points discussed with Michael Dowling and 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 Livestock Chairman said beef and livestock is Ireland’s largest farming sector with an output value close to €2bn, including beef exports of 500,000t and live cattle exports of over 300,000 head. He said the sector employs over 150,000 people including farmers. “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.”