IFA responds to Creed’s ‘4 movement rule’ comments

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has responded to Minister Michael Creed’s comments on the four movement rule, claiming that his choice of words was “highly misleading” and “incorrect”.

The minister had said last week (Thursday, February 14) – in response to a parliamentary question form Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae – that the four movement rule was a “purely private arrangement” between the IFA and Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the representative body for the meat processing sector.

The IFA has today responded to that statement from the minister, questioning his terminology when he used the phrase “a purely private arrangement”.

In a statement, the IFA argues that the Quality Payments Scheme (QPS) – which penalises farmers if livestock is moved between farms more than four times prior to slaughter – was a “public matter”, and had been debated in the Dail when it was introduced.

“The QPS was introduced in 2009 in order to reward farmers for producing quality. This moved away from the old flat pricing structure and is based on scientific research by Teagasc,” claims the association.

The IFA’s statement added that there was a “fully open, robust and lengthy discussion” about the QPS prior to its implementation.

As part of its on-going beef sector review, the IFA says that ‘market requirements’, which form part of the QPS will be examined.

Minister Creed

The minister’s comments were in answer to a parliamentary question from Healy-Rae, who asked for the four movement rule to be scrapped.

“A Quality Payment System for the payment of bonuses in respect of certain categories of cattle at slaughter plants was introduced in 2009 by agreement between Meat Industry Ireland and the Irish Farmers’ Association,” said Minister Creed.

He added: “This is a purely private arrangement between both parties and my department has no role in its design or implementation.”