With trials of a new cattle grading system in a number of Irish beef processing facilities demonstrating increased rates of accuracy, the Beef Plan Movement is calling for the system to be implemented across the board.

The results of the trials have shown increased accuracy of 1.1% for conformation, and 7.6% increased accuracy for fat score.

Enda Fingleton, the chairperson of the Beef Plan Movement’s south-east region, has called for this new system to be “rolled out across all meat processing facilities immediately to ensure maximum returns for all farmers supplying animals to beef processing facilities”.

One of the tenants of the Irish Beef Sector Agreement of September 15 was the commissioning of an “expert report on new technology in mechanical carcass classification”.

Fingleton added that “a similar review and trial should be carried out on all sheep carcasses to ensure a greater level of accuracy with improved payments for both struggling farming sectors”.

Also Read: What was the result of the cattle grading trial at Slaney Foods?

He called on both Minister Michael Creed and Meat Industry Ireland (MII) to “immediately undertake the installation of the new carcass grading machines, along with the review of governance and independent audits to ensure that highest industry standards are applied to help restore confidence levels between the processor and primary producer”.

Beef taskforce

Commenting on the Beef Market Taskforce, the Beef Plan’s south-east chairperson said it was “of the utmost importance” that it be reconvened, arguing that “the survival of beef farming pivots around open and transparent discussion between industry stakeholders around a table”.

“Failure to have the beef taskforce reconvened is a disservice to the farmers of Ireland, who have expected the taskforce to serve them and work for them during a difficult time,” Fingleton argued.

He also stressed that failing to reconvene the taskforce was preventing the farmer associations that are supposed to be involved in it from helping their members “through an extraordinarily difficult farming period”.

The Beef Plan Movement has called on Minister Creed to “invite everyone to participate as a matter of urgency”.