BEEF FORUM MEETING
IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns has said the Beef Forum will have to build on progress already made by delivering on key issues at next Monday’s meeting.
IFA has written to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney on the issues to be raised:
- The opening of new markets to deal with increasing cattle numbers.
- Improved carcase classification and trim controls at the meat plants.
- The implementation of price transparency.
- Adjustments to the AIMS system to properly count farm residencies.
- Quality Assurance.
- Live exports and specifications which suit Irish production.
The Beef Forum has been important in leading recovery of the sector and cattle prices from the severe problems experienced throughout 2014. By using the Forum the IFA has insisted that the Quality Payment System has operated properly with no dual base pricing by the factories. With factories not been able to put cuts on breed, age weight or QA status.
The IFA Livestock leader said all projections indicate that finished cattle supplies will remain tight for the remainder of 2015 and into 2016, with Bord Bia forecasting 100,000 head reduction in supplies at the factories.
He said that 2015 calvings and registrations have increased and live exports are back, which mean that cattle supplies in 2017 will be higher. The sector, led by the Minister must act on this now and not wait for another problem in 2017.
Minister Coveney has to deliver on opening up new markets so the beef sector can expanding. Due to the expected increase in supply the Minister must get beef exports moving to the likes of the US and China. There has been lots of announcements, but progress on getting exports moving after these announcements is far too slow.