With an expected rise in prices for factory beef over the next few weeks, Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív TD says there is a risk that farmers and people working on the beef crisis will slacken in their effort to deal with the underlying issues facing the beef industry.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “It is absolutely vital that we redouble our efforts to ensure farmers get economic return from beef in the long-term. I will be submitting a paper on the need for beef market regulation to the EU next month. I will also be continuing to press Minister Simon Coveney to facilitate the setting up of producer groups to ensure farmers’ interests are protected in the market place and that the groups will represent large and small farmers. He must also ensure cattle born and bred in the South are marketed as Irish beef no matter where on the island they were finished and slaughtered.
“There is also a need, particularly with the opening of the US market, to explore the possibility of having an agreed quality mark for grass based produced beef which would differentiate this product and further strengthen the identity of Irish beef with the green island. Ireland must target the premium markets across the world and should avoid, where possible, commodity markets. Genetic improvement is vital for the future of the beef industry and we need to ensure that the vast majority of farmers participate in the beef genomic scheme.
“I am, therefore, once again calling on the Minister for give an introductory grant scheme of €200 per animal per head under the beef genomics scheme even if it means 100% genotyping of the herd.”