The Beef Plan Movement has pinpointed a number of areas that “will have to get some movement to help pacify the country’s beef and suckler farmers”.
It believes that “anti-competitive practices are embedded in the QPS structure”.
- The under-30-month age limit for steers and heifers gets moved out to 36-months;
- The 4-movement rule gets abolished;
- The 70-day residency rule will carry from one QA farmer to another so purchased cattle can go direct to slaughter and collect the QPS bonus;
- It is hoped that acceptable weight limits will be factored in that to allow benefits of the suckler cow;
- It is hoped that the 125 km Cat 1 waste travel restriction will also be removed.
The Beef Plan Movement said it is aware that discussions around price per kg is not permitted at these talks but it is permitted to talk about pricing models such as the grid.
“With this in mind, it is deemed necessary to get some traction on the pricing models listed below.”
Long-term pricing model for beef (post-Feb-2020)
Put an agreement in place where the retailers, processors and farmers are all allocated a fair share of the retail price
- Retailers ----- Processors ------ Farmers
- Retailers – Cost of Production ---what it costs to sell 1kg of beef
- Processors --- Cost of Production---- what it costs to process 1 kg of beef
- Farmers --- Cost of Production --- what it costs to produce 1 kg of beef
“Currently, factories must quote producer groups; however, it does not state at what level they must quote producer groups.”
“Because producer groups have a cost, for producer groups to work it makes sense that when factories quote, they add on a figure that factors in this cost.”
“For this reason, we believe the factories should commit to quote producer groups at a minimum of the national average figure plus 8 cents for each category of cattle from the previous weeks departments prices.
The Movement is of the opinion that this would cover the costs associated with running producer groups and would be necessary to make producer groups functional.
Short-term pricing model for beef (between now and February-2020)
The factories have a responsibility to pay the market price - €3.50/kg at the moment, the group said. “Up to February, there is an estimated survival line of €4/kg for farmers.”
“It is safe to say that the current prices are Brexit-related. It is also safe to say if the market price of beef comes under any further pressure, it will also more than likely be Brexit-related.”
“Our Government and the EU have said all along that they would not let beef farmers be out of pocket as a result of losses that are Brexit related.”
Therefore, the Government and EU have now a responsibility to find whatever amount of money that is the shortfall between the market price and the farmer's survival line.
We believe that this money should be given to the factories. In return, the factories, have to give a cast-iron guarantee that the money paid to the farmer never drops below the survival line between now and February.
“This short-term pricing model is needed to avoid the complete devastation of beef farming until a long-term pricing model can be put in place.”
The Beef Plan Movement feel that a sustainable price is “absolutely necessary” for the survival of the beef industry. “It is also our goal to achieve this without raising the price to the consumer.”
“Whatever answers and commitments, the Beef Plan get today, they will bring back to their farmers as soon as possible who were on the protest line for them.”
“The decision on what to do next will be left with the farmers.” the spokesperson concluded.