The Irish Beef Producers group was officially recognised earlier this month by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – with the aim of collectively negotiating prices with meat processors on behalf of farmers.

Now that the group is over the line, the process for farmers to apply for membership of the producer organisation (PO) is getting underway. Interested farmers can join the group by filling out a one-page application form.

This form asks for some personal information, including a name, address, herd number and contact details.

Farmers hoping to join the Beef Plan Movement organised group are also asked to confirm a number of other details: If the applicant is an active beef supplier and has supplied cattle to a factory in the preceding year before they apply; if the applicant is not a member of any other producer group; and if the applicant has understood and will abide by the rules of the producer organisation.

After that, the membership application will be reviewed by an administrator for the group, and either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ box will be ticked. If ‘yes’ is ticked, the applicant is then a member of the group, and will be allocated a five-digit membership number.

The address for returning the application form is: Irish Beef Producers, P.O. Box 13094, Athlone Mail Centre, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Only hard copies can be accepted, so the form would have to be printed out; membership forms cannot be accepted online.

Speaking to AgriLand, the Beef Plan Movement’s Eoin Donnelly explained: “The producer organisation allows farmers to join together when selling cattle to factories to negotiate a better base price.”

The membership form is currently making the rounds on WhatsApp groups among Beef Plan Movement members, and a Facebook and Twitter page for the Irish Beef Producers is in the process of being set up where the form will also be circulated. A website for the group is also in the works.

The Beef Plan Movement will be distributing hard copies of the form among its county branches.

To view the membership form, just click here