Beef Forum could solve the grid lock
Published 16/02/2010 | 05:00
The beef grid continues to provoke heated debate in farming circles, with the IFA and the factories struggling to convince farmers of the new system's merits.
Both Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and the IFA contend that the system will deliver benefits for the beef industry and are adamant that the sector's current difficulties cannot be blamed solely on the grid.
In response to a broadside from the ICMSA this week, MII director Cormac Healy reiterated that the quality payment system (QPS) reflects the requirements of the marketplace and gives clear market signals to farmers.
He also claimed that more than 80pc of steers and 75pc of heifers are falling into desired fat covers and are therefore not subject to penalties.
This assertion would be strongly contested by many farmers who have delivered stock for slaughter since the grid's introduction.
But maybe MII has the figures to back it up.
However, Mr Healy was right when he said that attempts to confuse the QPS with abysmal beef prices were misleading.
Farmers are far from happy with the price being paid at the moment, but beef prices and the beef pricing system are two different issues.