Tipperary TD Noel Coonan has welcomed the outcome of last night’s discussion on the beef crisis and the agreement of all stakeholders to a comprehensive list of key actions.
“This is good news for Tipperary beef farmers. It has been a very tough year for beef farmers and for the wider industry in Tipperary. I am pleased and relieved that we have a resolution which is agreeable to all sides,” said Deputy Coonan.
“We greatly value our beef sector in Tipperary and so many people rely on it for their livelihoods. Fine Gael in Government is strongly committed to the beef sector and I want to thank Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney for his resilience in hammering out solutions.”
“There will be no price penalties based on weight until the end of 2015. In relation to the Quality Payment System, there will be no dual base pricing for breed, age or weight. The price incentive agreed for all steers and heifers from Quality Assured farms with effect from 1st January 2015 is a positive result. Immediate engagement under the aegis of the forum will follow to ensure progress in this regard.
“Processors and Bord Bia will engage with customers and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) will engage as soon as possible with competent authorities in third country markets, with a view to increasing the age specification for premium beef from 30 to 36 months.
“The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will continue to publish its Beef Pricewatch app and keep the format and content under review, with a view to maximising price transparency for farmers. Meat Industry Ireland will work with Bord Bia, other agencies and farm organisations to develop a market index, based on the different beef categories on the main markets and channels served by Irish product, with a view to developing a clear understanding of the market place.
“Meat Industry Ireland will work with its members to develop a harmonised remittance docket for farmers showing base price, bonuses and any factors contributing to the final price paid in a clear and transparent manner within three months.
“DAFM will strengthen controls around trim in meat plants in accordance with EU Regulations. Additionally, it will continue to work to remove any barriers to the traditional trade for fattening and slaughter with Northern Ireland Authorities and UK retailers,” concluded Deputy Coonan.