The Irish Angus Producer Group has announced that the AAA bonus scheme will not be in place for 2020, with the group looking to divert investment from the scheme to “enhance the production and marketing of certified Irish Angus beef”.

The scheme has 100 days remaining in its seventh year, and the 1% of Irish Angus Producer Group members involved in the scheme have been informed that it will cease after this year.

“As the original objective was to run the annual contracts for five years, a further extension was agreed for the past two years. With 100 days remaining to the end of the seventh year, we notified the 1% of our members/farmers involved that this initiative will not be in place for 2020,” the group said in a statement.

We are currently working with the support of our processor partners and other industry stakeholders to divert the investment in AAA to other initiatives to enhance the production and marketing of certified Irish Angus beef.

“These new initiatives will reflect the challenges faced by the industry currently, as did the AAA initiative in 2012 [the year the scheme started],” the statement added.

The group said that it expects to be in a position to launch an “exciting new support for our farmer members before the end of this year and will continue to work to make certified Irish Angus beef a leading beef brand for the future, benefiting all those involved”.

The letter sent around to farmer members who are part of the scheme read as follows:

A review of the AAA scheme has taken place and a decision has been reached that this scheme will not operate in 2020. All animals currently booked within the 100 days of slaughter rule will be treated as agreed. Animals booked for 2020 will revert to the next level of bonus below AAA.

“I wish to thank you most sincerely for your co-operation and support of this scheme over the last number of years,” general manager Charles Smith told members.