13 OCTOBER 2020
ICSA president Edmond Phelan has said the twin track approach of a grass-fed PGI and a suckler brand has not been fully thought through. “ICSA cannot agree to a PGI which is designed without adequate regard for how it will lead to better prices for farmers nor could we agree to a suckler brand which could be completely controlled by meat factories. Unless there is a genuine strategy to deliver better returns to our members, there is no point,” he said.
Mr Phelan made his comments following the cancellation of yesterday’s scheduled meeting of the Beef Taskforce amid continuing disagreement on the issue.
Continuing Mr Phelan said, “The key sticking issue for ICSA is that any strategy must be farmer led and controlled. So far, all we have got from the Department is a wholly inadequate promise for a ‘monitoring committee’ which is not worth the paper it’s written on. The future of the suckler herd is desperately dependent on getting a premium price and this will only happen when the suckler farmer is central to the strategy. That’s why the ICSA has consistently argued for a suckler based PGI.”