The proposal by Bord Bia to promote a dedicated Irish grass-fed beef brand in EU markets has been welcomed by the Beef Plan Movement.

The group was reacting to the news that Bord Bia has submitted an application to the European Commission for funding for the promotion of Irish suckler beef on the continent.

A grass-fed suckler beef brand has been highlighted to differentiate the high-quality product that Irish beef farmers produce, which the Beef Plan Movement outlined to Bord Bia in a recent meeting, according to the organisation in a statement.

“It is one of the cornerstones of our plan – high-quality beef needs branding based on its unique selling point (USP) – namely a grass-fed suckler animal which has full traceability and the highest standards of quality assurance,” according to a spokesperson for the group.

This announcement is the first sign of commitment to the suckler beef industry in a long time, according to the organisation.

Moving to the topic of beef price, Beef Plan has claimed it is clear that factories “are eager for stock with signs of the supply and demand balance starting to move in favour of the farmer”.

With grass becoming plentiful in most areas and supply tightening, there isn’t as much pressure on finishers to sell, the statement said.

Beef Plan urges farmers not to sell softly over the next few weeks as agents are eager to source factory-fit cattle and the pendulum is starting to swing in the farmers favour.

The group also called on farmers to resist any cut to base price due to age, carcass weight etc.

The organisation once again called to factories to lift prices immediately with the price differential between Ireland and the UK currently standing at €126 on a 360kg carcass.