IFA beef chair to speak at EU beef innovation network meeting

Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Livestock Committee chairman Brendan Golden will be one of the speakers at BovINE’s trans-national meeting for European beef industry stakeholders next week (December 1).

“It’s an opportunity to engage with our EU farming colleagues, particularly from France and Poland, including the Minister for Agriculture in Poland,” Golden has said. 

Maeve Henchion and Richard Lynch from Teagasc and Kevin Kinsella, BovINE Network manager for Ireland, will also attend the meeting which focuses on improving the sustainability of European beef farming now and in the future.

Current policy initiatives will be presented by key speakers followed by presentations of the Research Innovations (RIs) and ‘on-farm’ Good Practices (GPs) that have been curated so far by the project.

Other keynote speakers

Other keynote policy speakers include:

  • Grzegorz Puda – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland;
  • Jean Pierre Fleury – Chairman, Copa-Cogeca WP on Beef and Veal;
  • Jacek Zarzecki – President, Polish Association of Beef Cattle Breeders and Producers;
  • Jean Francoise Hocquette – Scientific Reference Group of International Meat Research 3GF, INRAE, President of EAAP Cattle Commission.

Host of the meeting, Jerzy Wierzbicki, Chair of Polish Beef Association (PBA) and BovINE’s Polish Network Manager said:

“A cornerstone of the European Green Deal is the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy. The aim of the strategy is to provide European citizens with access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food; tackle climate change; protect the environment; and ensure a fair economic return in the supply chain.

We are proud that the BovINE project facilitates the inclusion of farmers’ solutions to the implementation of this strategy.

“Hosting BovINE’s first trans-national meeting, building on the national events recently held across nine European countries, provides a concrete platform for sharing those solutions with all stakeholders,” he concluded.

Kevin Kinsella, Network Manager of BovINE for Ireland, said:

“BovINE’s first trans-national meeting builds on the nine national meetings run by network managers and project partners in recent weeks.

Our national meeting for Ireland involved 150 attendees with representatives across the beef farming community from farmers to veterinarians, advisors to wholesalers and merchants.

“We look forward to working with our BovINE colleagues across Europe to present knowledge and practices at the online meeting on December 1, as well as providing an opportunity for two-way exchange with all stakeholders on the most urgent issues we are all facing,” Kinsella said.

Maeve Henchion, BovINE Project Manager from Teagasc said: “Covid-19 restrictions, ironically, provide us with a great opportunity to be even more innovative, enabling us to bring wider groups together. We urge anyone with an interest in the European beef industry to join our meeting.”

What is the BovINE network?

The BovINE partner consortium represents 75% of the suckler cow population in Europe and 70% of the beef production output.

Farmers from nine Member States – Belgium; Estonia; France; Germany; Ireland; Italy; Poland; Portugal; and Spain – are involved in the programme which has a budget of about €2 million.

The EU funding for the IFA is €54,656.00 while Teagasc funding is €351,762.00.

The network connects with farmers across Europe by providing an open platform – the BovINE Knowledge Hub – where beef farmers, advisers, member organisations and researchers can exchange knowledge on Research Innovations (RIs) and Good Practices (GPs) and share experiences.

40 RIs and nine GPs will be shared during the meeting across four topics: socio-economic resilience; animal health & welfare; production efficiency and meat quality; and environmental sustainability.

Each recommendation addresses specific challenges currently facing European beef farmers, including lameness in finisher bulls; reducing mortality of new-born calves; reduction of the carbon footprint; economic planning; and animal development monitoring tools in beef production.

The event also includes networking sessions and a virtual tour of the Polish beef industry.