Minister McConalogue welcomes report on the work of the Beef Taskforce
Published on: 02 December 2021
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D. today published a report on the work of the Beef Taskforce submitted to him by the Independent Chairperson Mr. Michael Dowling.
The report details the progress made by the Beef Taskforce in fulfilling its remit of monitoring the implementation of the actions under the September 2019 agreement.
(Beef Taskforce report-https://assets.gov.ie/205619/ed6d3f98-a173-482f-8a55-ddd0dec0381a.pdf)
Minister McConalogue commented “I am pleased to publish the report of the Chair of the Beef Taskforce. I am satisfied with the group’s work in monitoring and progressing the implementation of the actions agreed by stakeholders in the beef sector agreement of 15th September 2019.
I take this opportunity to thank the Chair Michael Dowling for his dedication and diligence in progressing this important work, and to thank all Taskforce members for their consistent, constructive engagement in the process.The Minister highlighted both the immediate financial benefits and improvements to conditions of sale for farmers emanating from that agreement, and the subsequent strategic actions for the benefit of the sector, including:
- The establishment of a suckler brand development oversight group; and the allocation by Bord Bia of up to €6 million over a three-year period to progress the development of a suckler brand proposition
- Significant input into the application for PGI status for ‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’, which was submitted to the European Commission in November 2020; and will shortly be progressed to the next stage of the process, i.e. publication by the Commission for the EU Member State/Third Country opposition procedure
- Three substantial market transparency reports have been published;
- Additional price transparency through: enhancement of the Beef Pricewatch App, development of the Bord Bia benchmark price tracker; and the recent S.I. Number 449 of 2021 – European Union (Market Transparency) Regulations 2021
- A scientific review of the effect of prices on the Quality Payment system and a review of the hot and cold weighing systems by Teagasc
The Taskforce also engaged with key stakeholder including the EU Commission on price transparency, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on its role, as well as meeting Irish retailers and processors.
Minister McConalogue noted that “In submitting the report, the Beef Taskforce Chair also outlined his recommendations in relation to the future of stakeholder engagement in the sector. Mr Dowling advised that it is his view, and the shared view of the majority of the members of the Taskforce. that the group has fulfilled its remit of monitoring the implementation of the Actions under the 2019 Beef Sector Agreement. For this reason, I have accepted the Chair’s recommendation that the Beef Taskforce in its current format be wound up.”
Minister McConalogue went on to say that the Chair did highlight the importance of the continuation of stakeholder engagement on ongoing strategic issues and recommended that the Minister establish a new forum to drive this.
The Minister concluded: “I absolutely agree with the Chair’s additional recommendation that we need ongoing stakeholder engagement on the key strategic issues facing the sector, and I will be putting arrangements in place to establish a new strategic forum for the sector.
“Ensuring there is a long-term, sustainable and viable future for our suckler and beef farmers is a key priority of mine as Minister and I think the Beef Taskforce has played a key role. We must now build on that work over the time ahead. Through the new €150/cow Suckler Carbon Efficiency Scheme in the next CAP as well as our work around a PGI standard for Grass Fed Irish Beef, there are reasons to look to the future of the sector with optimism. I truly believe in the sector and I will continue to support it and our farmers.”