Deering welcomes signs of increased flexibility of beef processors on weight issue

3rd September, 2014

Fine Gael TD for Carlow/Kilkenny, Pat Deering, has welcomed progress being made in relation to ongoing issues in the beef industry. Deputy Deering was speaking after the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney TD, held a meeting with beef processors during which they indicated that they are open to showing further flexibility on weight specifications. The meeting followed on from separate discussions held by Minister Coveney with the IFA and retailers.

Deputy Deering also called on beef processors to respond without delay to the Dowling Report on the beef sector which addresses key issue in the beef farmer/processor relationship.

“I welcome, and I believe beef farmers will welcome, that that beef processors indicated a willingness to show flexibility on the issue of weight specifications during their meeting with Minister Coveney. It shows that we are making progress on this key issue.

“The bottom line is that beef farmers and processors are mutually dependant so it’s in everyone’s interest to resolve this issue as soon as possible. We need to restore confidence in the Irish beef sector which is so important to our economy and on which so many jobs depend.

“Minister Coveney also raised the issue of the Dowling Report the beef processors and pressed them for a comprehensive response from to that document. The Dowling Report was commissioned following the Beef Forum in April 2014 and makes recommendations, on key issues in the beef sector including improved price transparency and better communications with farmers; the increased use of supply contracts to provide greater stability for producers; and the development of price comparators that would allow for a more accurate system for benchmarking Irish prices against those in other countries.

“I understand that the beef processors are due to issue a response to the report shortly and urge that it be brought forward without delay.”