‘Commitment must be forthcoming’ to pay for quality beef

While retailers have outlined that the consumer demand is for high-quality Irish beef, now a commitment must be forthcoming to pay for this calibre of product, according to Macra na Feirme.

The young farmer and rural youth organisation participated in the Beef Market Taskforce meeting at Agriculture House, Kildare Street, yesterday, Thursday, January 9.

This meeting included for the first time the five large Irish retailers: Tesco; Musgrave Group; Lidl; Aldi; and Dunnes Stores.

Describing the participation of the retailers as “a positive step forward” in the taskforce’s work, Macra president Thomas Duffy said:

The retailers made it clear that they want Bord Bia quality assurance and that the consumer demand is for high-quality Irish beef.

“Now the commitment must be forthcoming from processors and retailers to pay for this high-quality Irish beef that the Irish public demands.

“If the beef industry is genuinely committed to the beef sector then we need to see prices rise now before calving season when decisions about beef production for the year are made.

Continuing, the president stressed:

Looking to the future, when beef will have to compete with not only other meats but imitation products, that taste and quality of Irish beef will be a key driver for Irish and international consumers.

The president stressed that preparing young farmers to deliver this product will “require new thinking and industry buy-in to help young farmers adapt”.

“Young beef farmers need leadership more now than ever before – and the leadership within Macra na Feirme is here to deliver,” Duffy concluded.