Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the successful conclusion of talks between Farmers’ groups and Meat Industry Ireland earlier this week.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “After long and detailed negotiations, stakeholders reached agreement on a wide range of very significant issues. Progress was made on important initiatives aimed at improving transparency along the supply chain, and improving communication between industry and farmers. I would like to welcome the constructive dialogue from all participants and would like to see these agreements put into place as soon as is practically possible.
The agreement includes commitments on:
- Review of the grid;
- Review of the in-spec criteria for the quality payment system bonus;
- Availability of carcass images
- Appeals system for carcass classification in manually grading factories
- Publication of an expert report on new technology in mechanical carcass classification and Promotional initiatives for the beef sector;
- Market transparency initiatives, including more detailed price reporting, and the transposition of the EU Directive on Unfair Trading Practices.
Cllr. O’ Shea added: “I understand the changes outlined above are aimed at delivering greater transparency and improving communication between processors and farmers. The Department of Agriculture has made an additional €120 million available to beef farmers in response to the very challenging market conditions in the beef sector and I would encourage all Beef farmers to engage with these respective schemes.
“There is a €20 million fund available through the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) Fund and €100 million through the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM). These measures were introduced in recognition of the fact that there has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed beef prices since last autumn, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.”