Agreement in principle has been reached by Meat Industry Ireland (MII) on two of the three sticking points encountered in the beef stakeholder talks which took place on Monday night, August 12.

The talks began at 2:00pm on Monday, and lasted for more than 12 hours between MII and farm organisations including: the Beef Plan Movement; the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA); the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA); the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA); the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA); and Macra na Feirme.

The talks were facilitated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, supported by Bord Bia and Teagasc, and chaired by former Department of Agriculture secretary general Michael Dowling.

Following correspondence from MII to the relevant bodies yesterday evening, Wednesday, August 14, MII reached agreement on live weighing of animals pre-slaughter in factories, and written confirmation of the terms of agreement for sale between farmers and agents.

On Monday, there was unanimous agreement from producer stakeholders that animals should be weighed prior to slaughter. The weighing of cattle live was sought so the farmer can see the kill-out percentage on all animals.

MII members have now committed to provide this lairage weighing service on request, at a nominal charge.

According to MII, its members will decide on introduction timelines based on individual member company operational and logistical considerations.

Regarding the other element of written quotes, it was agreed by MII last night that where agreement is finalised between the processor and individual supplier on the terms of sale, this can be confirmed in writing where requested.

The exact mechanism will be decided by individual processors, the Ibec meat representative body added.

Written quotes were sought by farmers to ensure “no more pushing out of killing dates once a deal is done”.

The chair now proposes to reconvene the group of stakeholders on Monday, August 19, with a view to discussing the third issue highlighted in the document (specifications) and presenting data committed in the document to being provided by Friday, August 16.