The newly ‘rebranded’ Irish Beef and Lamb Association (IBLA) has set out its priorities following an ‘AGM’ on Saturday (May 15).

In a statement following the meeting, the IBLA said that lamb was included in the name “to reflect an increase in scope”.

“We will now lobby on behalf of the many sheep farmers who came out to help during the protests in 2019 and who sought for us to represent them also,” the statement said.

It added: “Those farmers asked for representation through us and we have not forgotten them. They will now play a key part of our association.”

The IBLA also adopted a constitution document on Saturday.

The association has outlined six ‘key points’ that it will prioritise for the remainder of this year.

These issues are:

  • Stabilising the association;
  • Growing membership;
  • The Beef Market Taskforce;
  • Environmental concerns;
  • Calling for the appointment of a red meat regulator;
  • Farmers’ position in the food supply chain.

IBLA response to Aldi letter

The IBLA have also welcomed Aldi’s letter on the latest Grant Thornton report commissioned for the Beef Market Taskforce.

Yesterday (Tuesday, May 18), it became known that Aldi had written to taskforce chairperson Michal Dowling raising concerns over what it suggested was a lack of engagement with the report process by some other retailers.

The Grant Thornton report is on the price composition of Irish beef along the supply chain.

Two high-ranking members of the IBLA, Dermot O’Brien and Enda Fingleton, sit on the beef taskforce.

In a subsequent statement, the IBLA called the Aldi letter “open and transparent”.

“It is abundantly clear that the report…is incomplete. Grant Thornton must state why, by whom and for what reason its report is incomplete,” the statement added.

The IBLA is also calling for future taskforce meetings to be live streamed for public viewing.