Following on from the official recognition of Irish Beef Producers as a producer organisation (PO), a second PO is now embarking on the process of seeking recognition.
Emerald Isle Beef Producers has been formally established as a company (CLG), and the relevant paperwork has been filled out and submitted to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for review, according to Beef Plan Movement co-founder Eamon Corley, who is the chairperson of the PO.
Representatives from the PO are scheduled to meet with department officials next Monday, September 30, to further advance the application for official recognition.
Speaking to AgriLand, Corley explained that there are five other directors of Emerald Isle Beef Producers besides himself:
- Jane Holton, from Co. Meath (also the POs secretary);
- Declan Donohue, from Co. Galway;
- Kevin O’ Brien, from Co. Galway;
- Mary Ryan, from Co. Tipperary;
- Richard Hobson, from Co. Wicklow.
These directors sought legal advice from a barrister in establishing the PO, and also financial advice from accountancy firm Farrelly and Scully.
Phillip Farrelly, from that firm, is also an official facilitator, appointed by the department, for the purpose of dealing with new POs’ applications, according to Corley.
With regard to the already established Irish Beef Producers group, Corley commented: “We don’t see it as a competition.
“We envisage plenty of room for more of these organisations. I think in France there’s about 700. There’s 80,000 [beef] farmers in the country. There’s only so many [farmers] one organisation can manage,” he said.
“We can see room for one or two POs per county if it took off,” Corley added.
Farmers can be slow to join an organisation because they’re not familiar with [the concept of POs]. The department says it’s a way we can negotiate price. It’s about getting more power and respect for the farmer.
Corley stressed that, although the market is difficult at present with regard to selling cattle, he and the other directors are “thinking long term”.
The PO is currently accepting registrations to join, which will entail a €100 membership fee, plus a contribution of €3/head of cattle sold.
This is because, as Corley said, the PO “needs funds to do the thing right,” adding that the PO will have a number of employees to be paid.
Any farmers interested in registering with the PO should phone: 086-2228246.