Ferris welcomes result of unified action by beef farmers
Sinn Féin’s agriculture spokesman, Martin Ferris TD, has welcomed the agreement reached last night at the Beef Forum meeting in Backweston.
“I am relieved that some progress was made on important issues to do with specification, including the reinstatement of the Quality Payment System, weight limits and a new incentive payment for Quality Assurance from the start of next year.
“I am especially glad to see the reinstatement of a single base price per factory for steers and heifers under the Quality Payment System.
“There is no doubt that the conduct of the beef processors over the past year has damaged their relationship with farmers. It remains to be seen if this initiative will restore trust and farmers will see the factories fulfil promises made to introduce a targeted, cost- neutral price incentive for all steers and heifers from Quality Assured farms 2015 onwards.
“I also hope that the negotiations regarding age specifications from 30 to 36 months with customers and the Department will be successful.
“It is regrettable that it had to come to a blockade of factories for this negotiation to take place. It goes to show that were it not for the collective efforts of all those associated with pressurising the beef processors, the unfair treatment of farmers could have continued indefinitely.
“The beef processors have been a law unto themselves for too long and the producers showed what can be done by confronting them together.”