Beef talks: Agreement ‘close’ on grid, insurance and contractual issues

Beef processors and farming organisations are in sight of hammering out an agreement on a number of issues in ongoing beef talks – with the possibility of a review into the beef grid system on the table, among other items.

The talks – which began this afternoon – are not yet concluded but have made progress on a number of fronts, with a draft summary in the process of being written.

Items that are close to being agreed upon include: a review of the beef grid system; a review of insurance policies in factories; and a review of the formal contractual arrangements between factory agents and the farmer from a quotations perspective.

In addition, the need for a meaningful way of moving live exports was discussed in detail, while the relative power of the retailer in the supply chain was also a talking point.

A key issue from the talks was the possibility of a scales on the slaughter line. All farm organisations were in agreement on such a scales to weigh cattle prior to slaughter to get kill-out efficiency.

However, it is understood that processors could not commit to the scales element this evening, in spite of every farm organisation and Bord Bia being in favour of it.

The talks between the Beef Plan Movement, Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and farm organisations began at 2:00pm this afternoon, Monday, August 12.

Delegations from the Beef Plan Movement, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) and Macra na Feirme are taking part in the talks which are set to resume and continue into the night.