IFA review of beef sector expected in September

Report: Economist Jim Power
Report: Economist Jim Power

Martin Ryan

The anxiously awaited consultancy in-depth review of the beef sector for the IFA has been provisionally listed for discussion at the September Council meeting of the IFA.

The association commissioned economist, Jim Power six months ago to undertake the study aimed at aimed at bringing more transparency into the beef industry and determining if there is money in beef, how much and whose is getting it.

Since commencing the work of turning the microscope on the sector, the situation of producers has significantly worsened with returns from the processors falling to their lowest level for July in several years.

Ahead of the completion of his report over the next four to six weeks, he has described the findings as showing that the beef sector is in very deep trouble.

His brief from the IFA included the requirement to examine the role of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) direct payments, as well as the supply chain, the beef price index, impact of feed lots, and beef classification, trim, weights and prices at the processors.

In addition to a flood of submissions which he has received from farmers and other interests in the sector in this country, he has travelled to the UK to directly discuss the specifications and conditions attaching to the stocking of Irish beef in the major retail outlets.

The decision by the IFA to undertake the root and branch review of the sector was taken at the December 2018 National Council meeting and exclusively revealed in Farming Independent on January 15.

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