It was fully discussed and agreed by the Minister, factories and farmers that the current 12c/kg in spec bonus, will be retained in full according to IFA Livestock Chairman Henry Burns.

He said the IFA is actively working on the implementation of the Beef Forum outcome regarding the introduction of a Quality Assurance price incentive for steers and heifers from all quality assured farms.

Burns said there is an urgency to progress this issue ,which is due to be implemented from January 1st. He said the outcome from the Beef Forum is very clear and states that “processors agree to a cost neutral price incentive for all steers and heifers from Quality assured farms with effect from January 1st.”

In addition, Henry Burns said IFA it has set out that the new quality assurance price incentive must be worthwhile, be paid on all steers and heifers from QA farms, be implemented from January 1st and done in a positive way that will not impact negatively on the market.

IFA has requested Minister Coveney to get the Department of Agriculture actively involved to assist this process in line with the procedure agreed in the Beef Forum, according to Burns.

He said both IFA and Meat Industry Ireland consider it is very important that the Department of Agriculture be involved in this process.

Henry Burns said IFA has made it very clear that Minister Coveney must ensure that all of the agreed outcomes from the beef forum are fully implemented, in line with the timeframes laid down.

He said there can be no delays or sidestepping regarding the implementation of the outcomes from the Beef Forum.

According to Burns the IFA has raised a number of issues with the Minister where individual meat plants have imposed dual base prices around non-Quality Assured stock, contrary to what was agreed at the Beef Forum.

He said it told the Minister that this is a very serious issue that he must deal with it fully and directly with MII and the factories.