Beef Plan Group (2018- 2025) - a voluntary farmer-driven not-for-profit organisation – has announced its intentions to establish its own co-operatives to slaughter and market its own beef.
Beef Plan Movement is in the process of establishing county and regional groups and hopes to establish a total of six co-operatives throughout the country, a spokesperson confirmed to That’s Farming.
“At the moment, we are trying to concentrate on getting one of these co-operatives off the ground.” The spokesperson told this publication.
“Processing our own beef”
Speaking at a meeting at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon attended by some 250 farmers, Eamon Corley – Chairman said: “There is nothing to stop us from processing our own beef and selling to a supermarket in the UK, for example.”
“We would have control of the cattle and we would be selling direct to the supermarket, so the processor wouldn’t be getting its cut.”
“If we got even a percentage of what processors get, we would be happy and it would bring our price up to a sustainable amount.” He added.
The group’s spokesperson and chairperson said at this stage, it is difficult to quantify the exact amount that the group will be in a position to process and manage itself.
“If it starts up with one factory in one region in the country and builds to two or three, hopefully, farmers will get encouragement from that and hopefully, we could get a big enough percentage so that we can make a difference.” He added.
The spokesperson confirmed to That’s Farming that a potential investor – who requires large volumes of beef and offers an export opportunity promising a higher price than what is being offered by processors at present-– has approached the group which now has in excess of 15,000 members.
The potential investor is seeking 50% shares meaning that the group will require individual farmers to row in behind the initiative with their shares.
At a meeting, Eamon Corley outlined that co-operatives need to raise €2 million as he explained how this can be achieved; he suggested that the co-operatives with €5,000 shares, require 200 farmers with two shares each.
Meanwhile, up to eight cattle breed societies have confirmed that they are supporting the Movement, with the Irish Speckle Park Cattle Society being the most recent society to publicly endorse the group. “We are hoping that all cattle breed societies will come on board.” The spokesperson concluded.
The group continues to roll-out its series of meetings, with details as follows:
- Galway: Peacocks Hotel, Maam Cross- Jan 21st 8:00pm;
- Limerick: Kilmallock Mart - Jan 22nd, 8:00pm;
- Sligo/ Leitrim: Ballymote Mart - Jan 23rd, 8:00pm;
- Meath/ Louth/ Dublin: Ardboyne Hotel, Navan - Jan 24th, 8:30pm;
- Galway: Ard Rí Hotel, Tuam - Jan 28th, 8:00pm;
- Monaghan: Glencairn Hotel, Castleblaney - Jan 30th, 8:00pm
- Mayo: Mayo Sligo Mart Ballina - Feb 6th, 8:00pm;
- Carlow: Dolmen Hotel, Feb 7th, 8:00pm;
- Roscommon: Elphin Mart, Feb 21st, 8:00pm.
For more information, see Beef Plan’s website here.