November 12th 2014
Following the conclusion of today’s beef roundtable talks, ICSA president Patrick Kent said that he was pleased to see movement on ICSA’s key demands.
“The ICSA campaign threatening to withdraw from the Quality Assurance Scheme is yielding real results,” he said. “Weight limits for all cattle are to be lifted until January 2016. There is a commitment that processors, Bord Bia and, where appropriate, the Minister, will seek to persuade customers that the age specification should be changed from 30 months to 36 months. There will also be a review of movement restrictions and residency periods which have hampered the mart trade.”
“However, we do have reservations about the proposed changes to the Quality Assurance bonus,” continued Mr. Kent. “While the numbers of steers and heifers getting the bonus should increase under these proposals, ICSA wants to see the bonus paid on all animals from Quality Assured herds, not just steers and heifers. We will have to consider this proposal and its implications further to see if it goes far enough towards improving returns for farmers.”
“There is at least a commitment to examining bull beef production systems which will include consideration of the Quality Assurance Scheme and the Quality Assurance bonus. This has to be a priority issue for the next beef roundtable in January.”
“While we are not fully satisfied with everything that has been agreed at these negotiations, we have made some progress on key ICSA issues,” concluded Mr. Kent.