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Sunday 4 December 2016

Review of beef grid must be on Beef Forum agenda - ICMSA

Tom Pettigoe

Published 02/11/2016 | 06:00

The ICMSA study found that the grid would never deliver a 'cash neutral' outcome for beef producers. REUTERS/Vincent West
The ICMSA study found that the grid would never deliver a 'cash neutral' outcome for beef producers. REUTERS/Vincent West

A review of the controversial beef grid will be on the agenda at the next Beef Forum meeting, the Irish Creamery Milk Supplier Association (ICMSA)has insisted.

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The farm organisation last week published a study which claimed the grid had cost farmers close to €80m since 2011.

ICMSA president, John Comer, said the findings of the study vindicated the association's longstanding opposition to the beef grid and its repeated calls for "a root-and-branch review" of the manner in which it operated.

"All parties can be absolutely certain that we'll be pursuing the fundamental questions raised by our latest analysis of the QPS Beef Grid," Comer said.

"We will be pursuing this matter at every opportunity and we have sent a copy of the report to the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, specifically requesting that the review of the grid is an agenda item at the next Beef Forum," he added.

"I also confidently predict that Minister Creed will be fielding questions on this when he's our guest at our AGM in Limerick's Castletroy Park Hotel on November 28," he said.

The ICMSA leader called on State agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Teagasc and Bord Bia to clarify their position on the grid in light of the findings of the report.

The ICMSA study found that the grid would never deliver a 'cash neutral' outcome for beef producers. It claimed that annual farmer losses as a result of the grid ranged from €12m to €19m in the five years from 2011 to 2015.

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The beef grid was introduced in 2009 with the support of the factories, Teagasc and the IFA.

Comer said the silence these groups have shown on the ICMSA report's findings reminded him of the adage that while victory had a thousand fathers, defeat was an orphan.

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