The Beef Forum meets today with beef prices this autumn set to dominate the agenda.
Ahead of the meeting of the Beef Forum, IFA President Joe Healy said the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed must insist that the factories stop using the Brexit outcome to unfairly cut beef prices and undermine confidence in the market.
He strongly criticised the meat factories for overhyping the Brexit result in their rush to pull cattle prices.
At a meeting of the IFA Executive Council yesterday, which was attended by the Minister, Joe Healy said the Minister needs to outline the beef sector’s strategy on Brexit, which cannot be based on factory price cuts.
The President of ICMSA, John Comer said, that amongst the issues that need to be addressed at the Beef Forum are the future position of potential trade deals, progress in addressing the massive 30,000 head drop in live exports so far in 2016 and the review of the beef grid which quite clearly is not reflective of market requirements at this stage.
Comer said a review of the Beef Grid has been a long standing demand of ICMSA’s and the evidence supporting a review is growing stronger by the day.
“Market requirements have changed but yet, ICMSA believes that certain categories of cattle are being unfairly penalised under the grid and the grid is simply overly complex and not fit for purpose,” he said in advance of the meeting.
According to Minister Creed, the meeting will continue in the same format as before and the agenda will reflect the current issues of relevance to the strategic direction of the Irish beef sector while providing a forum for sectoral stakeholders to exchange views on these issues.
These issues will include climate change, the implementation of the Food Wise 2025 strategy, the Beef Data and Genomics Scheme and the market outlook for Irish beef for the second half of 2016.
The Beef Roundtable forum was established in April 2014 in order to bring all relevant stakeholders together and to facilitate open discussion between industry, farming organisations and others on the strategic path forward for the beef sector.
The Forum has met on seven occasions and has been a useful vehicle for engagement for all those involved in the sector.
As part of the programme for Government, a clear commitment was given to continue the work of the Beef Forum.
“I have been engaged in an intensive round of discussions with stakeholders since taking office and listening to their views on the future strategic direction of the beef sector,” Minister Creed said ahead of today’s meeting.