IFA Drives Key Farmer Issues at Beef Forum

Mon, 12 Feb 2018

IRELAND - In response to IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods at the Beef Forum last week, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said he was more than willing to sit down with the IFA to work through how proposals can be brought forward to increase supports for the suckler herd.

Mr Woods said, "We strongly highlighted the income problems on farms and Minister Creed said he fully understood these income difficulties."

The IFA Livestock Chairman told the Forum that investing in the national suckler herd is critical for the beef sector and will provide strong returns. He said IFA has strong proposals to increase targeted supports to €200 per cow.

On classification, trim and weights, Mr Woods told the Minister it is his responsibility to properly police the system in the factories and time is running out on this issue. In response, Minister Creed said his Department has come up with a proposal to the Department of Public Expenditure regarding the appointment of Agricultural Officers to monitor classification, trim and weights in the factories.

On live exports, Minister Creed also told the Beef Forum he is working closely with the shipping company to get a full solution to the ferry issues in February/March for calf exports. The Minister also told the Forum he had a very successful live export mission to the Turkish market the week before.

Mr Woods said the Government cannot allow the EU Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom to severely damage the beef sector in the Mercosur trade negotiations. Minister Creed said he was not moving off the 70,000t offer from the EU.

The IFA livestock leader said based on the presentation from Bord Bia at the Forum and the positive market forecasts, there is room for the factories to restore the recent cattle price cuts. He told the factories winter finishers need a significant price increase at this time.