Farmers booked 4,422 cattle for slaughter through Emerald Isle Beef Producers (EIBP) over the last year, Beef Plan’s virtual AGM heard last Friday (December 9th, 2022).
Eamon Corley, chairperson of the Beef Plan Movement, told attendees about the organisation’s beef PO, which has been in operation for three years.
He told the meeting: “In the last year, we have done business with seven different factory groups.”
“Between these factory groups, they would own a total of twelve factories, and on top of those, we dealt with one exporter, who we exported cattle with.”
He acknowledged that several issues have occurred over the last year, including the energy crisis, increased transport fees, and Covid-19’s impact on some meat factories’ operations in terms of staff availability.
Corley then provided a run-down of the following outlets EIBP has for cattle and the number (head of cattle) it supplied to each over the last year:
- Foyle Meats – In-spec heifers and bullocks, bulls and cows – Two factories: One in Donegal and the other in Omagh – 2,454 cattle:
- Boyne Valley Meats – Non-QA cattle, heavy bulls and cows – Two factories: One in Meath and the other in Mayo – 912 cattle;
- Liffey Meats – AA and HE cattle and in-spec cattle – Factories in Ballinasloe, Ballyjamesduff and Hacketstown – 770 cattle;
- O’ Sullivan Meats – Two factories – Limerick and Wexford – 180 cattle sold in the last two months as this is a new outlet for EIBP;
- Cattle exported live through an exporter to a UK-based factory – 106 cattle went through this route this year. Corley commented: “This has died a bit because the prices here rose up and he was unable to compete, so the exporter was getting less for them in the UK; it was not viable.”
Corley remarked: “Factories are very easy to deal with when cattle are in tight supply, but we noticed that with some we deal with, when cattle came on stream, they were more evasive.”
“As a group of farmers, we will never get any power if we do not unite. That was the whole idea of the producer group that we do not sell cattle in ones, but we sell them as a group.”
“I am still of that belief, but it is hard to get farmers to change their ways,” he concluded.
During the virtual session, he also told farmers about the PO’s new scheme, which will see a beef bonus of over €1.00/kg for Wagyu-bred progeny and also details of a new outlet for P1 dairy cows through two factories.