IFA members seek grid system audit
An independent audit of the quality payment system (QPS) for cattle has been sought by leading members of the IFA.
The IFA national livestock committee endorsed the grid, with most of its members in support of the system after what was said to be a "lively" meeting.
However, a member of the IFA's national council has called for an independent assessment of QPS to establish its impact on cattle prices and farmer returns.
Limerick IFA chairman Eddie Scanlan received unanimous backing from his county executive when he proposed at a meeting last week that the grid be independently audited.
Mr Scanlan's proposal was supported by Noel Woulfe of the IFA national livestock committee, who said that farmers were "completely dissatisfied" with the new system.
"Farmers feel that they are being done by this grid. We need independent analysis. If it is not price neutral it must get the boot," Mr Scanlan said.
Mr Woulfe said strong opposition to the grid was voiced at a meeting of the IFA national livestock committee attended by IFA president John Bryan, association chief executive Pat Smith, and the executive secretary of the livestock committee, Kevin Kinsella.
"In the end it was decided to stick with the grid, and try to get the base price increased, but we have IFA AGMs around the country calling to get rid of it because farmers have no confidence in it -- they are not happy with it," Mr Woulfe said.