Denis Naughten has called for the establishment of a distinctive brand for Irish grass-fed suckler beef – similar to Kerrygold – that could attract “premium prices on key overseas markets”.
He stated that Irish suckler beef is being sold as minced meat rather than maximising the price for premium cuts such as fillet steak.
“And in reality, the situation is even worse than that because Irish processors are directly competing against each other undercutting their price, which ultimately is impacting on Irish farmers’ pockets.”
“We will never get a premium price for our Irish beef based on the current model which is putting all the power in the hands of the processors to return fair prices to Irish farmers.” Naughten added.
He said it should be the responsibility of Bord Bia to drive this forward with producers across the country.
“It is important that we point out to British consumers that 70% of the deforestation of the Amazon – the lungs of our planet – is to provide land for cattle ranches.”
He noted that some 11% of the greenhouse gas emissions involved in food production is directly linked to food transportation.
“Surely, it makes far more sense to bring beef from Dublin to London, a distance of 464 km, than 11,000 km from Buenos Aires to London, a journey 24 times longer. The distance from London to Newcastle is the same as the distance from London to Dublin.” he concluded.