Beef finishers call for total overhaul of payment grid
Anger is deepening among beef finishers on the controversial 'four movements' limit for livestock, with demands for a complete reform of the payment grid.
Concerns have also been raised that maximum weights of 400kg are unacceptable for high quality suckler carcasses and making farming systems unviable.
Eamon Corley from the newly-established Beef Plan Group, who was a former member of the IFA National Livestock Committee, warned the four-movements limit was "anti-competitive".
Mr Corley estimated that the impact of the QPS on producers could be as much as 40c/kg, or around €250-175/hd on average.
His comments follow Agriculture Minister Michael Creed stating that the Quality Payment System (QPS) was introduced by agreement between Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and the IFA and the conditions for bonuses, including the limit on movements, was a "purely private arrangement" between both parties.
A Department spokesperson later stated: "Bonus payments and conditions associated with such bonus payments are commercial matters and the Department has no role in their design."
He pointed out the Minister had contacted Mr Healy-Rae and the IFA to clarify the recent statement.
However, the IFA claimed Minister Creed's initial comments were "highly misleading".