Funding sought for development of ‘naturally reared suckler’ brand

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has been called on to provide funding for the development of a “naturally reared suckler branded product”.

The calls were made by the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) at a meeting the organisation had with the minister last week.

Commenting on the matter, INHFA president Colm O’Donnell said:

“As part our our budget submission, we have asked the minister to put funding in place so as to honour the commitment given by the newly established Beef Market Taskforce to develop a suckler brand.”

“The INHFA lobbied hard within the taskforce to get this commitment agreed at the Backweston talks and it must now become a priority for implementation and also to safeguard the integrity of the taskforce agreement,” the president claimed.

We have registered an objection with the taskforce chairman highlighting the fact that nothing has happened surrounding the development of a suckler brand to date and that we will not withdraw our objection until this commitment is delivered upon.

O’Donnell added that, in its budget submission, the INHFA is looking for “somewhere in the region of €3-4 million” to kick-start the brand development process, adding that he hopes that the minister will look favourably on this request.

“The development of a suckler brand beef label has the potential to deliver value-added premium to the producers of our naturally reared suckler beef and to our suckler farmers,” the president concluded.