Establishment of Producer organisations key to safeguarding farmers interests

Cork North West TD Michael Creed has welcomed the agreement reached early Thursday morning at the round table Beef Forum. Commenting on the agreement Deputy Creed said:

“I am pleased that engagement and dialogue has led to an agreement which hopefully will provide some relief for beef producers who have suffered the brunt of deflated beef prices throughout Europe. I am particularly pleased for beef producers in my constituency who I have been meeting with and who have despaired at the market conditions over the past year. I hope that this agreement and the commitment to further engagement in January will lead to a sustainable future for the industry for all stakeholders in the industry and specifically the primary producers.

“I would urge beef producers to hasten the development of producer organisations in order to give farmers a solid standing in future engagement with other stakeholders. An organised dynamic network of producer organisations can only help to provide farmers with a stronger hand in future negotiations

“The key threads of the agreement include:
• Weight Specifications – no price penalties based on weight up to 31st December 2015.
• Age Specifications – engagement with the retail sector and third country markets with the objective of increasing age specification for premium beef from 30 to 36 months.
• Quality Payment System (QPS) – no dual base pricing for breed, age or weight
• Quality Payment System – Review of current QPS by the middle of 2015
• Quality Assurance – processors to provide a price incentive for all steers and heifers from Quality Assured farms with effect from 1st January 2015
• Farm movements – clarification and harmonisation of the system for counting the number of farm residencies for determining eligibility for the QPS in-spec bonus. Any barriers to movement through marts will also be examined.
• Price Transparency – new market index to be developed based on the different beef categories on the main markets served by Irish product
• Price Transparency – harmonised remittance document for farmers showing base price, bonuses and any other factors contributing to final price.

“I’d like to congratulate Minister Coveney for his role in brokering this agreement, his officials in the Department of Agriculture as well as farm leaders, and processors for positively engaging in this process which hopefully will reap rewards for the sector from this point on”.

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