The Independent Farmers of Ireland CLG (IFOI) has laid out a “proposed immediate solution to the price issue facing beef producers across Ireland”.
In a statement, to That’s Farming, an IFOI spokesperson stated that its concerns and those of other associated social pillar stakeholders (as defined under the Aarhus Convention), have not been addressed, despite numerous Beef Taskforce meetings.
These, they listed, include:
- A minimum sustainable price for cattle;
- Removal of the 30-month age limit – in consultation with environmental groups;
- Repeal of the ‘4-movement rule’;
- Removal of the 60-day retention period;
- A fair TB compensation package – use of 6-hour PBD Biotech test for accuracy.
Beef Market Taskforce
IFOI continues to hold the view that meetings of the Beef Market Taskforce to agree to a sustainable standard for grass-fed beef are “meaningless” if there is no meaningful stakeholder consultation with all relevant social and environmental pillar groups.
The Independent Farmers of Ireland CLG is calling for the Beef Market Taskforce to resume its meetings, subject to the inclusion of IFOI and other (currently excluded) stakeholder groups.
“The IFOI have set out very strongly to prove that Irish grass-fed beef is a premium product in its own right. Considerable success has been achieved by IFOI in this space by way of consumer consultation and feedback.”
The organisation has reiterated its call for radical reforms to unfair trading conditions within the meat processing sector. These include the repeal of age limits and retention periods and the establishment of more small independent abattoirs throughout the country.
The IFOI also raised concerns over the “damage that the importation of cheap, inferior meat has caused to the sector”.
The IFOI is calling for the government to pass the Equitable Beef Pricing Bill (as tabled by Deputy Peadar Toibín) into law as a matter of urgency. This legislation provides for a minimum sustainable price for beef and offal, as well as addressing the issue of the 30-month rule for farmers.
“The Irish government can take this direct action within days to effect positive, meaningful change for primary producers of beef. Therefore, there is now no excuse whatsoever for inaction on the part of the government.” the spokesperson concluded.