Anne Rabbitte TD has written to "all major Irish retailers" to seek their view on the 30-month requirements under the Quality Payment Scheme (QPS), 70-day QA single farm residency and the four-movement rule.
In a tweet, Rabbitte - Fianna Faíl spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs - said: "Numerous farmers in touch voicing fears over prices being paid for beef. This is their livelihood, people just want a fair price & a sustainable living."
"1 main issue relates to the 30-month age limit. I've written to all major Irish retailers seeking their input on this."
The letter reads as follows;
As you may be aware, there have been protests taking place outside a number of meat processing plants around the country in recent weeks, organised by the Beef Plan Movement.
As a supporter of the Beef Plan Movement and the many farmers across my constituency in Galway East, it's important that the issued being raised by farmers are brought to a successful close and farmers are given a fair price for their beef and their livelihoods brought to a sustainable standard.
One of the issues that has been raised by the Beef Plan Movement relates to retailer specifications; the current requirements include the 30-month age limit for heifers and steers, as well as the 70-day QA single farm residency and the four-movement rule. The factories say these are based on retail market requirements.
I am writing to ask you if these requirements are a necessity and if so, on what basis, and under are they applied to all countries? I would also like to hear your opinion on this limit being extended to 36-months?
Many thanks for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to hearing from you.