Over the past eighteen months, concerns surrounding the current grading machines installed by beef processing plants have come to the fore.
The issue has been highlighted by farmers; representative lobby groups and organisations and parties within the political field, with many questioning the accuracy of the technology.
While over 90% of factories have introduced an electronic grader for over one-decade, there are still numerous plants that impose 'grading by hand'(conducted by a human) - these are approved and licenced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine(DAFM).
Machine classification utilises a Video Image Analysis to examine various elements of the carcass including conformation (E,U,R,O,P) and fat class.
Ireland has adopted the EU Beef Carcase Classification Scheme, which aims to "ensure a common classification standard throughout the European Union" according to the website of the Department of Agriculture.
That’s Farming understands that new technology will be trialled over the next number of months, with more to follow on this in due course.
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