Beef Plan begins nationwide series of information meetings

The Beef Plan Movement has commenced a series of nationwide information meetings to explain both strands of the recent beef agreement, which includes a section on how a producer organisation works.

According to a statement from the Beef Plan, the purpose of the meetings is to inform the farming community on the gains made in the agreement.

Two of the meetings took place last night, Thursday, October 10, in Collooney, Co. Sligo and Toomevara, Co. Tipperary.

According to a Beef Plan statement following the meeting: “Farmer satisfaction and confidence in the agreement has been consolidated, with farmers leaving the meetings affirmed that there is a level to work from with stakeholder accountability coming to the fore”.

Toomevara

At the meeting in Toomevara, one farmer came forward and asked: “Will the Irish Beef Producers PO close down the marts in this country?”

The question came following concerns that the trading of weanlings between the producer and finisher would exclude livestock marts from earning commission.

In response, the Beef Plan representatives suggested that marts could use their facilities as a lairage to assemble cattle in for onward transportation to the next stage and still be able to obtain a payment per head.

The Beef Plan has outlined that this is something they are “actively examining and negotiating”.

At the meeting, farmers expressed anger over the fact that three farmers had legal threats and injunctions still over them and wanted these lifted before talks at the Beef Market taskforce commenced.

During the meeting in Toomevara, representatives from the Beef Plan explained: “There is no requirement by members of Irish Beef Producers to sell their cattle through the PO despite being members.”

When quizzed by the audience on why all cattle could not be fully controlled under the PO, it was stressed by the Beef Plan that “ultimately, every farmer must have the freedom and choice to sell their cattle to whoever they wish.

The ultimate goal for the Beef Plan is to ensure that the farmer has the flexibility to choose the best price that they can obtain through whatever means is available to them.

According to the Beef Plan: “Membership of Irish beef producers PO will ensure that farmers can stand together in numbers when it comes to negotiating price with any meat processing group.”

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