Irish Beef Sector Agreement ‘must be implemented immediately’

As Irish beef processing facilities reopen, calls have been made for the increased bonuses in the deal to be paid “with immediate effect”.

Speaking following last night’s announcement that the final beef protests have stood down, the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Joe Healy, said: “Factories should come forward with a strong base price and pay the new bonuses.

“This agreement is not perfect, but I want to make it clear that it applies equally to all farmers regardless of their scale.”

Healy reminded farmers that key components include the immediate implementation of the following:
  • The base price at individual plant level applies to all steers and heifers regardless of age or breed;
  • An immediate increase of 8c/kg in the current in-spec bonus for steers and heifers, from 12c/kg to 20c/kg;
  • The immediate introduction of a new bonus of 8c/kg for steers and heifers aged between 30 to 36 months, which meet all non-age related existing in-spec criteria;
  • The introduction of a new in-spec bonus of 12c/kg for steers and heifers under 30 months in the categories of grade O- and fat score 4+, which currently do not qualify for any bonus.

Continuing, the IFA president acknowledged: “There are other aspects of the agreement that will take time to implement, but the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, should move on these immediately.”

Concluding, Healy said: “The chairman of the new beef market task force should be appointed immediately and the group should meet in the next two weeks. We need to keep up the momentum for change.”

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