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ICSA in Talks with Meat Industry Ireland

Nov 9, 2014 | Press Releases | 0 comments

10th November 2014

ICSA is meeting Meat Industry Ireland this morning (Monday) as part of the negotiations arising from the Beef Roundtable discussions. The key objectives for ICSA are to secure changes in the specifications for beef pricing including an end to the 30-month cut off and realistic weight specs for suckler bull beef.

According to ICSA president Patrick Kent, “Price is obviously a source of huge anger. However, it is the underlying specs and abuse of the Quality Assurance Scheme by factories which have facilitated substantial price cuts over the past twelve months, costing farmers at least €170 million.”

The key objectives for ICSA are:

  • An increase in the 30-month age limit (cattle over 30 months are severely discounted)
  • A realistic weight and age limit for suckler bull beef (reduced to 16 months and 420kg in 2014 by meat factories without warning or without consultation)
  • A Quality Assured bonus for all cattle coming off Quality Assured farms
  • An end to the 70-day residency requirement and maximum four moves which are not Bord Bia specs but which are used by factories to undermine free trade and competition at livestock marts

ICSA has signed up over 4,000 farmers who are threatening to withdraw co-operation with the Quality Assurance Scheme unless progress can be made on the key issues. “We are holding back on this threat to see if progress can be made but we will continue to sign up farmers for the campaign if today’s meeting does not yield any breakthrough,” said Mr Kent.

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ICSA Beef chair Edmund Graham has criticised factories for attempting to direct the trade by pulling prices this week in order to fill their own feedlots. “Prices being pulled this week is a disgrace as there is no real justification for it. The average GB price (England, Scotland, Wales) has increased by the equivalent of 20c/kg excluding VAT since the start of August. Meanwhile, after a few weeks of improved prices, factories are attempting to drive Irish prices to a new low for 2023. This is not acceptable,” he said.

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