A new group of livestock stakeholders is set to have its first meeting today, Monday, November 18, to discuss the calf industry and the outlook for that sector in the next year.

The Irish Livestock Stakeholder Association will hold the meeting today at 11:00am at The Bay Hotel, Sea Road, Ferrybank, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, to discuss “the pressure on the calf industry that we as a farming nation are now facing into 2020”.

A statement from a group spokesperson said: “This topic has been a top priority for many farming organisations over the past few months.

We would like to bring everyone under one roof to try and find a solution to the problem that this island is up against.

“No doom or gloom for the future of exports; it is all about forward thinking at this meeting,” the spokesperson added.

Live cattle exports

Last week, the senior meat and livestock manager with Bord Bia said that live cattle exports for the year would stand at over 300,000 head for the first time in several years.

Joe Burke made the comments while giving a presentation at a Teagasc beef and sheep seminar at the Tullamore Court Hotel, Co. Offaly, last Wednesday, November 13.

Burke spoke about the opportunities for both the beef and sheep sectors here – emphasising the Chinese market.

“Due to the situation with African swine fever (ASF) in China, it has opened up a pathway for Irish beef,” Burke said, adding that the destination is set to become “one of Ireland’s top four or five international export markets”.