'Engaging with Department and Teagasc would be first step in reviewing Grid'- Meat Industry Ireland
Meat Industry Ireland (MII) have said engaging with the Department of Agriculture and Teagasc would be the 'first step' to reviewing possible changes to the QPS grid.
Senior Director of MII Cormac Healy told the Farming Independent that the QPS which was introduced in 2009 was designed with the aim of rewarding quality and market suitability.
“The essential elements of the QPS are rewarding quality and market suitability. From its origins, the QPS was about rewarding better grading animals and animals that best meet the marketplace requirements,” he said.
“The current grid structure is based on science and yield. The science and the market will remain at the core of the QPS. To progress matters, in the first instance we will engage with DAFM and Teagasc.”
This follows comments made by Mr Healy last week where he stated that “possible changes to the grid may need to be explored”.
ICSA Beef Chair Edmund Graham stated that better quality conformation cattle often get the lowest prices and said that a team needs to be set up a soon as possible to review the grid.
Laois suckler farmer Henry Burns added if the grid is to be reviewed then the price gap between U and O grade cattle should be higher to ensure the highest quality animals get the highest prices.
“There are issues with price and technical specifications but that doesn’t change the fact that it is still very difficult to make a living wage out of suckler farming,” said Mr Burns.