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Irish Hereford Prime bonus scheme: what’s changing?

“Minor” changes, which have been made to the Irish Hereford Prime bonus scheme, will come into effect on March 30th, 2020.

Irish Hereford Prime undertook a review in conjunction with its partner processors and “key” customers over the past numbers of months.


It issued a letter to its members earlier this week, stating, “Market demands have made it necessary to place continued emphasis on the quality and consistency of the product we offer to our customers.”

“With this in mind, we have slightly increased the minimum qualifying carcass weight from 220kg to 240kg and also modified the qualifying heifer conformation grade that now sees O= grade or better being eligible.”

“Securing long-term continuity in our brand is crucial for its growth. To simplify our bonus payment structure and keep consistency throughout the year, the decision has been taken to move away from any extra pre-booked off-season payments.” 

“The change in supply pattern of our cattle and also the increased demand for our beef has led us to a simplified all-year-round bonus with additional payments for higher-grading animals.” 

Qualifying criteria:

  • HE or HEX on animal passport;
  • Steers and heifers only;
  • Under 30 months of age;
  • Herds must be approved under the Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme;
  • Carcass weight: 240-380kg;
  • Conformation: O= or better;
  • Fat class: 2+ to 4+.

Irish Hereford Prime outlined that a minimum bonus of 10c/kg will apply to all qualifying Hereford and Hereford-cross cattle; this minimum bonus will apply all-year-round with an additional conformation grade top-up that will apply as follows; 

  • R- & R=: +2c/kg on top of Irish Hereford Prime bonus;
  • R+ grades: +4c/kg on top of Irish Hereford Prime bonus;
  • U grades: +6c/kg on top of Irish Hereford Prime bonus.
  • O= and O+: 10c/kg bonus;
  • R- and R=: 12c/kg bonus;
  • R+: 14c/kg;
  • U: 16c/kg.

Members are reminded that they can avail of a free weighing service of Hereford cattle, farm-to-farm trading of Hereford-cross cattle, pedigree Hereford heifer scheme and silage sampling and other offers throughout the year.

Irish Hereford Prime said it is currently seeking to progress a pilot programme based around the highest animal welfare and environmental standards.

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