There has been an agreement arising from the beef talks to establish an appeals system for farmers in relation to the manual grading of carcasses, AgriLand understands.

The plans – which have not yet been officially confirmed – come on the second day of talks between farmer groups, processor representatives, and officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

AgriLand understands that a farmer would be able to make an appeal to a factory if they feel the kill sheet returned to them is not representative of the animals(s) they presented.

The farmers will have 24 hours to make this appeal. It is understood that the short time frame was proposed by Meat Industry Ireland so as to not cause disruption to the routine operation of a meat plant.

If a farmer is dissatisfied with the result of an appeal made to a factory, they will have the additional option of submitting a further appeal directly to the department, which will reexamine the farmer’s concerns.

AgriLand understands that the proposal will be reviewed in six months to examine the practicality of such a process.

It is understood that representatives from Meat Industry Ireland have raised concerns that the department does not have the staff to oversee and conduct such a process, while department representatives said it would be feasible for it to process appeals on a short time frame.

A representative for one of the main farmer groups involved in the talks, the Beef Plan Movement, has said that these proposals will be put to its members for ratification.

The potential new development comes after the Beef Plan Movement made a number of suggestions relating to pricing models in the sector.

These include putting “an agreement in place where the retailers, processors, traders and primary producers are all allocated a fair share of the retail price for their respective involvement in the beef supply chain”.

The movement is calling for “an accredited economist” to devise a “fair distribution” of the retail cost, based on production costs of the various components of the supply chain.