‘Cherbourg may require Irish investment for calf exports’

If the calf export trade is to progress on the basis of best-practice and sound logistics then the facilities at Cherbourg, France, and other ports may have to be invested in and upgraded, according to a farm lobby group.

The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association’s (ICMSA’s) chair of the Livestock Committee, Des Morrison, said: “That might well require Irish investment and if it does then it should be forthcoming as soon as is practicable.”

Commenting on the current situation relating to the live export of calves, Morrison added that farmers needed to see a “more proactive approach” from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and other state agencies in supporting and adding-to the facilities’ capacity at Cherbourg.

There’s no need to complicate this; we need the maximum number of outlets and routes for our live exports but all recognising the highest standards and best animal welfare practice.

ICMSA thinks we should start with those two aims and work backwards from them.

Concluding, Morrison explained: “If we are going to make any progress on beef prices – and while we wait on the long overdue reform of the Quality Payment Scheme (QPS) – then we have to have real options and real competition and that means a strong calf export trade to all possible markets and to the highest standards of which we’re capable.”