30-month rule ‘forcing farmers to deliver cattle’ – Cullinan

It has been claimed that “the 30-month age limit is being used by factories to force farmers to deliver cattle and, thereby, control supplies and manipulate the price”.

Presidential candidate in the upcoming Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) elections, and IFA’s national treasurer, Tim Cullinan, has said that the beef talks were “a damp squib and had failed to address the very serious penalties being imposed on beef farmers, costing over €30 million per year”.

Speaking at the Virginia Show yesterday, Wednesday, August 21, he said: “Failure to address the 30-month age limit alone has cost farmers €10 million in 2018.

Amazingly, the Competition Authority stood idly by while the beef processors collectively insisted on this condition across all plants.

He said: “We know that many of the factories’ customers do not require a 30-month age limit.”

Concluding, Cullinan said: “If individual factories for individual contracts want a 30-month age limit, then they should negotiate this in advance with individual farmers, and not use the power of the cartel to enforce the condition where it is not necessary.”


Previously, Cullinan has highlighted that penalties imposed by ABP, Dawn Meats, Kepak and the other factories cost farmers over €33 million last year.

Cullinan’s analysis of how beef and suckler farmers are being penalised by the factories was published in advance of the recommencement of negotiations between the factories and farmers on Monday, August 19.

He said: “The factory-imposed restrictions on age, the time spent on the farm and the number of movements cost beef and suckler farmers over €17 million alone in 2018.”