Over 50,000 herdowners now in Bord Bia’s SBLAS

There are now more than 50,000 herdowners participating in Bord Bia’s Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

The minister was responding to a parliamentary question on the matter from independent TD for Galway-Roscommon Michael Fitzmaurice.

The deputy also asked for the number of tonnes of beef produced on quality-assured farms from 2016 to 2018 and the number of tonnes deemed ineligible for the quality assurance payment.

SBLAS

Responding, Minister Creed said that the number of participating SBLAS beef farms has been growing steadily in recent years, “reflecting stronger demand coming from the marketplace for quality-assured product”.

“My department has carried out a review of cattle throughput at export meat plants and local abattoirs and this is the data currently available.

“Based on this review, SBLAS member-farms accounted for 1.55 million cattle supplied for slaughter in 2016: representing 90.4% of the total national figure of 1.72 million.

In 2017, the share of cattle that came from SBLAS farms grew to 91.4%, or 1.67 million out of a total of 1.83 million slaughterings in total.

“The figures for 2018 are not yet available, but a further small increase is expected in the share coming from SBLAS farms.”

Regarding the question on beef deemed ineligible, the minister said that the Quality Payment System (QPS) “is a payment mechanism whereby a price is determined and paid by processors to farmer suppliers”.

‘Commercial matter’

“As this is a commercial matter between processors and farmers, my department has no role in its operation and does not consequently collect data on it,” the minister said.

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