Four measures brought forward by Galway/Roscommon TD Denis Naughten secured the “unanimous support” of Dáil Éireann yesterday, Thursday, September 27.

Naughten believes that the measures have the potential “to fundamentally shift power away from meat processors and supermarkets to beef farmers”.

The measures – which secured the support of every TD – “will help to improve the margin which farmers secure for producing grass-fed Irish beef,” he outlined.

The four proposals put forward are to:
  •  Intensify efforts to secure EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for certified grass-fed, extensively reared Irish suckler beef;
  • Implement the recommendation to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine by the CCPC of May 28;
  • Ensure that the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation shall carry out a market study on the nature and scale of issues in the beef market and make recommendations as appropriate;
  • Ensure that the Department of Agriculture immediately convenes a cross-sector implementation group to establish a publicly owned national beef-supply blockchain.

Continuing, Naughten explained: “The fact is the further the animal goes from the farm gate; the less information is made available on price.”

“That is why beef price transparency right across the supply chain, and the associated specifications, must be addressed in the context of securing a fixed but fair proportion of the final price for beef farmers.”

“The report to be sought from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission will not just look at implementing the EU Directive on Unfair Trading Practices in the agricultural and food supply chain, but also look at other changes in the law to improve the financial welfare of beef farmers.”

Naughten concluded: “While it won’t bring about changes overnight, the fact is that if such steps were taken five years ago, we would not have the crisis we have today”.