Over 2,500 farmers from across the country have joined Beef Plan Group - a network that was established as a result of frustration among cattle farmers over factory prices.
The group aims to retain control of beef from birth to slaughter and beyond; return as a minimum, the cost of production plus a margin and reclaim respect with the beef industry.
"For years, farmer's profits have been eaten by processors and retailers and as a result, beef farming in Ireland is on its knees." A statement on the group's website outlines.
40,000 beef farmers ( at least 60%) are needed to back this plan in order to leave its founders in a position to implement the measures contained within Beef Plan 2018-2025.
The plan outlines 86 proposals across 8 different phases - sustainable price; factories; producer groups; animal health; purchasing groups (phase one and phase two); farm safety; government schemes; farm unions and abattoirs.
It was compiled by “beef farmers for beef farmers”, ago following consultation among 350 beef farmers; finishers of both suckler-bred and dairy-bred beef and cattle purchasers.
The group has received support from several beef breed cattle societies including Irish Charolais Cattle Society, along with interest from livestock marts, as flyers are distributed at venues nationwide.
The committee also met with Mairead McGuinness MEP and first Vice-President of the European Parliament. The group is now in the process of organising county meetings to explain the plan, with the first meeting to take place in Co. Roscommon next week; the founders are also implementing structures to roll out purchasing groups.