Jim Power: ‘I’ll make a damn good stab at IFA beef investigation’

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) is currently seeking submissions in respect of its beef review which is being carried out by former chief economist of Bank of Ireland Jim Power.

The review, which aims to “bring more transparency to the beef sector”, will explore a number of areas including: Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) direct payments; supply chain; beef price index; feedlot specifications; and oversight which will examine the effectiveness of department inspectors and controls in factories on classification, trim, weights and prices.

Speaking to AgriLand, Power said he wants to hear from everyone involved in the industry so he can establish where the difficulties lie.

This is an independent assessment of the beef industry.

He added: “I will be looking at the impact CAP has had and the future impact that CAP will have; I will also be looking at the fifth quarter and at the value chain.”

Power went on to say that it may also be necessary to develop a price index.

“Everybody needs to understand what the beef industry is and the role that the factories play in all of that. We need to understand where we are going into the future and we also need to see where the margins are and where they are not,” he continued.

Brexit

And with the Brexit deadline looming ever closer, Power says, that will also have to be factored into the review.

I will be building Brexit into it because that is massive and we have no idea what is going to happen.

Power continued: “Everything is purely in the realm of speculation at the moment; we have no idea what tariffs will or will not be applied and the fact is that Brexit does pose a massive challenge to the beef industry.”

He went on to say that, while the Brexit threat “is happening” at a time when the beef industry was already on its knees, it is important to note that there is also “a lot of misinformation out there” when it comes to the sector.

I’ll be making a damn good stab at this investigation; I want to meet people involved in the industry and speak to them about what is happening at the moment.

He added: “I am open to speaking to everyone from those in afforestation right up to the butcher and those on the kill lines and I would encourage people to engage in open discussion with me.”

Meanwhile, Power pointed out that he will also travel to Brussels to gain further insight into matters, and engage in discussions with US Department of Agriculture officials.

He also hopes to have the review compiled within three months.

IFA

In a previous statement to AgriLand, the IFA said the review was designed to form an ‘in-depth analysis’ of the sector and to offer solutions for the issues farmers face.

The association also encouraged farmers in the industry to get involved.

Any farmer out there that wants to make a contribution to this is most welcome to do so through the IFA’s structures.

A spokesperson continued: “We hope that we’ll get an in-depth analysis of where we are on the beef sector, and also clear, positive directions for going forward.”