Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Beef farmers pin hopes on Tesco initiative

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Tesco has refused to confirm that it is changing its beef labelling requirements to let more Irish cattle be sold to British finishers for the retail trade.

It was reported last week that the retailing giant had approved an 'Irish-born, British-finished' label to be used on meat from all Irish cattle sold into Britain.

It would represent a major boost for Irish beef farmers, given that steer prices are currently €140/hd higher in Britain.

A spokesman for the British retail giant was only prepared to state thatTesco was "unable to verify" reports that it was changing its labelling policy.

Meanwhile, the ICSA is pushing hard to get a major ferry company to lay on a boat from Rosslare to Britain to facilitate the export of cattle.

ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan said that the reports that Tesco was open to more Irish-born beef on its shelves has opened up potential demand for all kinds of cattle, including forward stores.

"We have got very good feedback from one major player in the ferry business who are seriously considering a change in the long-standing policy that has effectively banned the live export of cattle from the Republic to Britain," said Mr Phelan.

"The recent fodder crisis demonstrates that we need options when the potential to finish cattle here is limited by the lack of reasonably priced cereals and by-products," Mr Phelan added.

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"Without a major expansion in live exports, the suckler herd will not be able to maintain higher numbers being currently experienced."

Irish Independent