Emerald Isle Beef Producers (EIBP) has just submitted its second end-of-year report to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

“We are legally obliged to do this on the back of securing official beef producer organisation status from the Department of Agriculture,” explained EIBP chairman Eamon Corley.

“The organisation is managed as a company limited by guarantee, which has a board comprising five people.”

Corley confirmed that EIBP has 338 farmer-supplier members at the present time. Each pays a lifetime subscription of €100.

Corley, one of the founders of the Beef Plan Movement in 2018, added: “One of the founding priorities laid out for Beef Plan was that of establishing a functioning beef producer organisation.

“A representative of Beef Plan sits on the EIBP Executive Committee. This principle also works in the other direction. However, it is not a requisite for an EIBP member to also be a member of Beef Plan.

“Currently, EIBP draws its membership from across the country and has within its ranks representatives of all the Irish farming organisations.

“Obviously, our aim is to grow EIBP’s membership during the period ahead.”

According to Corley, EIBP is supplying cattle to seven Irish meat operators at the present time.

The organisation has also supplied finished cattle to processers in Northern Ireland and the UK over the past 12 months.

Corley explained: “I am not going to name the companies that we are supplying cattle to. The bottom line is that we act to deliver the best possible price to our members.

“And we have a strong track record of success in doing just that.”

Corley said he is “very conscious” of the fact that EIBP is interfacing with meat operators, currently offering a range of bonuses for cattle that meet a wide range of specifications.

He continued: “Over our two years in operation, we have established a loyal stable base of suppliers. We have managed to build working relationships with the various meat processors that we supply.

“Our success in building a group of farmers to supply cattle as a group hasn’t gone unnoticed among meat processors,” he claimed.

“While some would see our group as a threat to the way they operate for years, others see the benefits of being involved with a group of farmers who can supply the consistent cattle types needed to help fill specific contracts on a weekly basis.”

Corley concluded: “A very welcome development has happened this year in that our group has been approached by a number of outlets to supply cattle. Because of this, we now find ourselves in a position with not enough cattle on a weekly basis to meet the extra demand.

“Some of the outlets that have approached us have and are willing to sign contracts with our members that deliver significant group bonuses.”