Beef Market Taskforce meeting set for Thursday

A meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce will take place this coming Thursday, June 25, as a ‘virtual’ meeting.

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirmed to AgriLand that the meeting will take place via video conferencing due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The department said that invites had been sent out to farmer representative organisations (including the Beef Plan Movement), and the department is waiting on some farm organisations to confirm if they will be attending, and who their representatives will be.

This will be the first meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce since early January. Solid plans for a meeting were confirmed for the first time recently by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

Minister Creed made the announcement on Friday, June 12 last, while revealing details of a €50 million fund for a support scheme for beef finishers impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the last taskforce meeting, there were provisional plans to hold a third meeting in late March, though Covid-19 scuppered these intentions.

Since then, there have been persistent calls to get the taskforce to meet via video conference.

Last month, the chairperson of the taskforce provided an update on the work being carried out while plans for meetings were on hold.

Michael Dowling had outlined to the stakeholders involved in the taskforce that it had not been possible to convene a meeting of the taskforce due to Covid-19.

However, while noting the significant changes of recent months, he added: “Work on all the taskforce actions continues in this new context.”

Dowling had provided members with a number of documents, including: an updated taskforce report; a progress report from Grant Thornton on the three transparency studies; a market update from Bord Bia; and an update from the Department of Agriculture on the Covid-19 situation as it relates to the sector.

The three transparency studies currently underway by Grant Thornton will likely be key topics of conversation when the taskforce meets on Thursday.