Founder of Ireland’s Future, Gerry Loftus, has welcomed the inclusion of additional dam data on bovine passports, which will also be available on mart display boards.
The independent general election candidate said these changes are “absolutely essential for the survival of suckler-beef going forward”.
“Until now, a suckler cow was marked with an ‘X’ on her passport, which meant that only the sire’s breed was displayed and the dam’s breed was excluded.”
“This was a loop-hole when it came to cross-breeding, especially with dairy cows.”
“In order for suckler beef to survive, this was essential and it is just the first step in hopefully opening new markets for suckler beef at home and abroad,” Loftus added.
Loftus pointed out that going forward, farmers will have to avail of the opportunity that they have facing them, and that is, he explained, producing naturally-reared, chemical-free suckler beef.
“Farmers will have to get their enterprises in order and become carbon-neutral,” Loftus stressed.
Carbon-neutral beef when displayed on the shelf, Loftus believes, will involve labelling that will notify the customer of the percentage of the carbon neutrality.
“A label showing 100% carbon neutrality will be much more attractive for the consumer.”
“Every hotel, café, restaurant and deli, for example, should be supplying naturally-reared, chemical-free suckler beef, produced by local farmers – that is a goal that Ireland’s Future intends to pursue along with the development of new markets from there on in,” Loftus concluded.