IFA President Joe Healy says that while base price was discussed at the talks at the weekend no price could be agreed due to Ireland’s flawed competition law. IFA and other farm organisations did raise the issue with the Minister at the talks. We stressed that the success of the agreement, on the ground, would very much depend on the factories approach on the base price.
With the immediate gains in the agreement being around bonuses, the potential for factories to undermine these by manipulating the base price was an obvious concern.
“I would now urge the factories to re-open and to come forward with a strong base price. This would help to start the process of building some sort of trust and to get the industry up and running” he said.
The industry should fully re-open. Farmers with animals to sell should contact their factories and drive the hardest possible bargain on the base price.
“IFA will fully support any farmer who wants to sell their animals,” he said.
“The new beef price index will be available from this week and that should be a help in providing more transparency on cattle prices in the weeks ahead,” he said.
“Some other immediate gains were achieved in Sunday’s agreement, but much of what was agreed will take time to implement.
“The independent review of specifications, including; the 30-month age limit, the four movements and the residency period will be very important for many farmers. IFA is clear that if the review shows that these cannot be justified on the grounds of market access, then they should be abolished immediately,” he said.