Meat processors play down beef grid revamp speculation
Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has denied that a total revamp of the beef grid or QPS was being considered, but the processor representative body accepted that some changes to the cattle payment system were needed.
Responding to queries from the Farming Independent, MII director Cormac Healy said there were no immediate plans to alter the price differentials between the various grades of cattle in order to increase payments for quality stock.
However, Mr Healy did not rule out changes to the grid structure in the future.
"The QPS is an earnest attempt to reward quality and maybe it needs to move a bit further, as many producers have been calling for," he said.
This is the second time in a fortnight that MII has indicated that it was open to some level of change in grid payments.
Mr Healy stated in last week's Farming Independent that producer calls for increased price differentials between grades might have to be heeded "given the pressure in suckler beef production" and the "changed structure of the national herd".
The IFA confirmed that it is in discussions with processors regarding returns to beef farmers, but said that an overall renegotiation of the grid was not taking place.
"IFA is clear that farmers must get rewarded for quality," said IFA livestock chairman Angus Woods.