Farmer’s Journal 4 February 2016
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney signed legislation this Wednesday giving legal recognition to POs in the beef sector – a key recommendation of the Beef Forum. Beef farmers can now band together and negotiate collectively with meat factories for better terms and prices for their cattle – without breaching competition law.
Chairman of the ICSA beef committee Edmond Phelan, told the Irish Farmers Journalhe was “sceptical” of the producer group announcement.
“We hope these producer groups will have a positive effect on the beef sector. I’m not sure if it will entirely work but the jury is out, and only time will tell.
“I’m sceptical. The factories know too much already – more than anyone else knows. If they are able to hit a button that tells them exactly what every farmer has, then that will only have a negative impact on farmers. They’ll know exactly when to raise the prices,” he said.