30 JANUARY 2018
Monaghan beef farmer Edmund Graham has been elected ICSA national beef chairman by the association’s National Executive. The vote took place at ICSA’s AGM and Annual Conference which took place in Abbeyleix, Co Laois last week. Hailing from Ballyleck in Co Monaghan, Mr Graham focuses primarily on his weanling to beef and stores to beef enterprises.
Following his election Mr Graham was firm that his focus would be on improving prices for beef farmers. “Farmer trust in the grid system continues to be a major issue. The system is outdated and needs to be replaced with a model that that fully utilises modern digital technology. ICSA understands that some preliminary work on this issue is in the pipeline with trials involving new technology being tested by processors, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture.
This could be a significant step towards facilitating a payment based on meat yield and could potentially result in the farmer getting a price in closer alignment with what is sold on the shelf. ICSA will be seeking clarification on these trials at the upcoming Beef Forum”
In addition Mr Graham said “Pushing on with live exports and gaining access to new markets is crucial. However, recent Bord Bia figures indicating the value of the fifth quarter has brought some clarity on just how much processors are benefitting from its sale. With more Asian markets opening up, this is an area that will have to be revisited.”
Mr Graham said he would also be keeping up the pressure to ensure vast quantities of extra South American are kept out of European markets. “It is unthinkable for beef quotas to be considered in the Mercosur trade talks with continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Any concession would show a reckless disregard for the beef sector.”