October 13th 2014
Detailed information on factory prices provided direct to mobile devices
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D., launched the new “Beef PriceWatch” App on October 13th. The application, developed by his Department for smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices, will provide users with up-to-date information on the average price paid for animals in 24 of the DAFM approved meat factories throughout the country.
The App is available for your mobile device at https://publicapps.agriculture.gov.ie/bpw
Speaking at the launch of the App, Minister Coveney said “I’m very pleased to make the new PriceWatch App available free of charge to Irish beef producers and the wider sector. This App takes much of the existing price information already available and makes it more user-friendly. Now, at the click of a button, farmers can immediately see the prices paid for different categories of cattle in their factory of choice for the most recent week. This information on prevailing price trends means that Ireland is now one of the most transparent EU Member States when it comes to providing accessible information on prevailing price trends”.
The development of this App was one of the key commitments the Minister made arising from the Beef Roundtable discussions that he chaired during the year. “Of course, it is only one small piece in the jigsaw, but I’m convinced that the added transparency provided through the App will be welcomed by everyone in the sector. As in any business, beef producers need access to current data on market developments and the App will be the conduit for this information. Today’s announcement marks another milestone in the list of commitments arising from the Beef Roundtable”.
The “Beef PriceWatch App” provides, each week, the average price at national and individual factory level for Steers, Heifers, Cows, and Young and Old Bulls. It presents beef producers with a comparison for a representative group of animals in each category, such as the average R3 price for Steers and Heifers, and the average U3 price for Young Bulls. Behind these representative prices, the user is one click away from detailed information, at factory level, for prices across the entire 15 x 15 beef carcass classification grid.
Minister Coveney explained that “the App essentially gives farmers access to data across 225 different carcase grades, and shows the prices paid for all of the different grades slaughtered in each factory, each week. The information for the previous week will be updated on the App every Wednesday night”.
Acknowledging the meat factories’ role in making this information available, the Minister added “I am particularly pleased that, for the first time, we are now in a position to report detailed information on the price paid for young bulls at each of the different factories. The production of young bulls, which would not have been traditional practice in Ireland, has experienced some difficulties in recent times. This additional information will go a long way to improving transparency for those farmers operating young bull production systems”.
Finally, the Minister noted that there was already an array of price and statistical information available through the Beef PriceWatch portal on the homepage of his Department’s website at http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmingsectors/beef/beeffactorypricesweeklyreports/2014/ This includes a weekly Meat Market Report showing detailed information on slaughter numbers, live exports and prices for the year-to-date.
Concluding the Minister said: “The launch of this App marks Ireland out as being way ahead of the rest of the EU member states in terms of the price information being made available and this App reinforces that position. As with any App, we will of course be adding more features over time and I would encourage any stakeholders to get in touch if they have feedback on the current version or suggestions for future versions”.
The representative grades used for the headline average prices for each animal category are as follows:
Steers = R3
Heifers = R3
Cows = O4
Young Bulls = U3
Bulls = O2