The agriculture committee of Ireland's Future has written to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed outlining their concerns in advance of tomorrow's (Tuesday, December 3rd) Beef Taskforce meeting.
Its founder, Gerry Loftus, said that suckler farmers are "outraged" following the introduction of a new in-spec bonus of 12c/kg for steers and heifers under 30-months in the categories of grade O- and fat score 4+, as part of the Irish Beef Sector Agreement.
"A bonus is being given for O grade cattle, which are poor grade cattle from the dairy herd, as well as 4+ fat score cattle with no recognition for prime suckler beef."
This, Loftus said, resulted in farmers returning to factory gates to protest.
More protests and blockades
Loftus said that it has emerged that some farm organisations “pushed” for the introduction of a bonus for P grade cattle. He questioned why organisations would lobby for “more money for dairy-beef and nothing for prime, suckler environmentally-friendly beef”.
Should a bonus for P grade cattle be introduced, Loftus said, it will have "major repercussions" and will "probably result in more protests and blockades".
Ireland's Future is also demanding the abolition of the controversial four-movement rule and thirty-month rule.
“It is the responsibility of Minister Creed and Bord Bia to remove these rules as they have no legal status."
"This is the minimum that must come out of these talks," concluded Loftus.