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ICSA Reiterates Quality Assurance Threat

Sep 25, 2014 | Press Releases | 0 comments

25th September 2014

ICSA has reiterated its call for farmers to unite in signing up to the ICSA campaign threatening to withdraw from the Quality Assurance Scheme unless key issues are addressed.

“The huge response to our campaign at the Ploughing Championships has further highlighted the anger and frustration of farmers who are watching their profits go down the drain,” said ICSA president Patrick Kent. “The response of Minister Coveney yesterday clearly shows that ICSA’s action and the number of farmers signing up are making a serious impact at industry level.”

“Farmers are emphatically showing that they won’t be bullied, and ICSA will continue this campaign until there is movement on the issues we have previously outlined. The outpouring of support this week has steeled our resolve even further. Processors and retailers must now decide whether they want to sacrifice Quality Assurance or whether they will finally engage meaningfully with farmers.”

“For those who may now finally be sitting up and listening, the demands of farmers are as follows:
• A Quality Assurance bonus paid on all Quality Assured animals – after all, they are sold as Quality Assured on the supermarket shelves
• An end to the senseless discrimination against cattle over 30 months old
• Fair play for marts, with an end to artificial restrictions on residency and movements
• A realistic age and weight spec for high quality continental bulls
• An end to the arbitrary changing of specs and pricing systems without consultation with farmer representatives.
• An end to anti-competitive practices within the meat industry.”

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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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