The news that the 30-month requirement has been removed as a condition of access to the Japanese beef market has been welcomed by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), labelling the move a “sensible and logical decision”.

The chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, Des Morrison, lauded the move, adding that it should be followed by similar changes for export certs and specifications to other markets.

Morrison said that the 30-month requirement is based on a historical issue and there is no justification whatsoever for it today.

Continuing, he added that it should be removed completely from all certs and market requirements.

The 30-month rule has been used and abused to penalise farmers and the ICMSA believes that meat plants should immediately remove it as a specification for cattle.

“We feel that would send a very clear signal to the marketplace that it no longer has any justification and that all markets should recognise its irrelevance and remove it as a requirement.

“The Japanese decision increases the flexibilities for meat plants and provides them with a further market option – it should boost returns and these additional returns must be passed back the processors to the farmers,” the ICMSA chairperson concluded.