Beef Plan Movement secures first meeting with department

The Beef Plan Movement has secured its first official meeting with officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The meeting, set to take place next week at the department’s Backweston Campus in Co. Kildare, will focus on the group’s aim to feed into the TB Stakeholder Forum.

The forum is made up of: representatives from the department; farm organisations; the veterinary profession; the agri-food industry; and the farming and research communities, with the aim of eradicating bovine TB from the national herd by 2030.

The topics on the agenda for discussion include:
  • An overview of the TB programme and the role of diagnostic tests;
  • Progress of the TB Forum;
  • Beef Plan Movement’s TB proposals.

AgriLand understands that Eamon Corley, Meath beef farmer and co-founder of the Beef Plan Movement, and members from the group’s new Animal Health Committee will be present at the meeting scheduled for next Friday (February 15).

Progress to date

The movement, which currently claims to have approximately 17,000 members, is aiming to attract 40,000 members before implementing its 86-point plan to rejuvenate the struggling sector.

To date the main support strongholds are counties Roscommon, Galway and Mayo. Each county has more than 1,000 members.

The movement intends to reach its membership target within two months.

In addition, county reps are in the process of setting up purchasing groups that will seek out “special deals” on fuel, insurance, fertiliser, electricity, farm hardware, etc. in a bid to build loyalty and trust.

The groundwork is also being laid for the establishment of county producer groups – initially for beef finishers – with the aim of gathering information on exactly what cattle are in every county.

The movement is also seeking out independent factories that may be willing to kill cattle on a contract basis.

The movement will hold another public meeting tonight (February 6) at Mayo Sligo Co-operative Livestock Mart in Ballina at 8:00pm.

A subsequent meeting will also take place at Ballymahon Mart in Co. Longford next Tuesday (February 12) at 8:00pm; another event will also be held at Elphin Co-operative Livestock Mart in Co. Roscommon on Thursday, February 21, at 8:00pm.