Factories need to prioritise heavyweight sucklers: ICSA
There is no point in a €200 "sticking plaster" subsidy unless suckler beef is marketed as a premium product with prices to match, the AGM of the ICSA was told last week.
The future of the suckler cow, Mercosur, CAP, animal rights campaigners and carbon sequestration were all on the agenda at the packed meeting in Portlaoise.
ICSA president Patrick Kent said there was no point in taking money off the basic payment to give it back as a €200/cow payment if marketplace realities were ignored.
"There is no point in a €200 sticking plaster if suckler cow numbers go up and live exports go down," said Mr Kent. "If we are serious about sucklers factories must commit to paying for heavy U grade carcasses."
Mr Kent said farmers were willing to do their bit to help reduce emissions but pointed out they are helping through carbon sequestration.
"We are sick and tired of being lectured by vested interests, by misguided environmentalists and by animal rights extremists," he said.
The AGM also saw Monaghan farmer Edmund Graham elected as the ICSA beef chairman to replace Edmond Phelan.