‘Feedlot operations undermine Origin Green’ – Beef Plan Movement

Concerns that feedlot operations “undermine” the global image of Irish beef as promoted under Bord Bia’s Origin Green have been raised by the Beef Plan Movement.

Speaking to AgriLand at a meeting in Ennis, Co. Clare last night (Wednesday, January 8), Hugh Doyle, vice-chairman of the Beef Plan Movement, outlined his views.

“At the moment, 18% of all animals that are killed on a weekly basis are coming from either factory feedlots or farmer feedlots. Our brand is a continental steer up to his knees in grass.

That brand needs to be pushed harder. The feedlots are fine in their own right, but it is not the brand that Bord Bia is selling as ‘Origin Green’.

“An animal under 16 months that’s getting two tonnes of meal is not environmentally friendly,” he said.

Other speakers at the meeting shared Doyle’s perspective on feedlots.

Also Read: Revealed: ‘Factory feedlot’ contribution to Irish beef kill

Also speaking at the meeting, exporter Cary Languirand, who is originally from New York, said: “I learned this the other night, almost 20% of the beef produced [in Ireland] comes from feedlots. It’s a disaster for the farm industry.

What it’s going to do is contract people to go in, start [the animals] at a certain point, contract them out at a certain weight, take them onto the feedlot and the prices are going to collapse.

“It’s a disaster. It’s the worst collision you could ever watch happen. It’s literally a train coming down the track and it’ll run you over,” he said.

Purchasing group

The meeting was attended by up to 400 people.

Representatives for the movement voiced intentions to set up a purchasing group of farmers in The Banner County and urged those in attendance to join it.

The meeting also heard that if everybody currently in the movement recruited two or three other people, the targeted membership of 40,000 could be “easily achieved”.

Among the suggestions that were discussed at the meeting was the possibility of expanding the veal industry, having similar levy levels for calves as there are for sheep, and re-introducing an export subsidy.