QPS delivers significant advantages, insists IFA
A robust defence of the controversial Quality Pricing System (QPS) for cattle at the factories has been launched as the IFA ruled out a reform of the grid.
The association claims that the system is returning a 12c/kg bonus on three of every five heifers and almost half of the steers slaughtered each year at the export factories.
However, strong producer condemnation of the scheme which has persisted since it was introduced in 2009 shows no signs of abating.
Calls for reform from a number of farm bodies have focused on the complexity of the 225 grade 'grid' and additional criteria to qualify for the 12c/kg.
However, at the recent IFA national council meeting Kevin Kinsella, the organisation's director of livestock, outlined significant advantages which the QPS has delivered to suppliers of cattle to the factories. It has rejected outright the calls for reform of the grid.
Angus Woods, IFA livestock chair, told a regional meeting at Corofin, Co Clare that the criteria to qualify for the QPS Bonus of 12c/kg is not an issue for the majority of suppliers.
He said that 93pc of steers and heifers being supplied to the factories are Bord Bia Quality Assured, with 74pc of steers and 86pc of heifer under 30 months.
Some 63pc of the steers and 74pc of the heifers are within the conformation and fat score grades to qualify for the bonus payment, and 92pc of the steers and 93pc of the heifers are meeting the 70-day residency requirement.