Revamped beef quality scheme in the pipeline
A review of the Bord Bia Beef Quality Assurance Scheme is on schedule for completion within weeks, with the revised conditions set to be in place for producers by the end of this year.
Currently beef finishers are excluded from the Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme for a period of six months if there are issues with the farm audit.
This will remain in place pending the outcome of the overall review.
However, in the meantime beef finishers who experience difficulties in disposing of livestock arising from QA audit restrictions can apply to Bord Bia to have their individual situations assessed for an immediate re-audit.
ICSA beef chair, Edmond Phelan has described the time limit as "totally unacceptable" and called for the board of the beef promotion body in the interim to operate a 'yellow card' system for all beef farmers.
It is available to milk producers under the Dairy QA Scheme.
"They can't have one rule for a dairy farmer because he would not tolerate a restriction on the sale of milk for six months and another rule applied to a beef producer - there must be a 'yellow card' for everybody for minor issues," he said.
Mr Phelan said that very few factories are willing to accept steers and heifers unless they are from a QA accredited farm.