Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Questions (280)

Charlie McConalogue


280. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of commitments made by his predecessor when the beef forum was set up to introduce a wholesale price index which would be developed and published by Bord Bia and his Department. [12697/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) publishes a monthly Wholesale Price Index including an industrial producer price index which details monthly percentage changes over an array of products including food products, which are further differentiated into meat and meat products.

Following discussions about price transparency at the initial meeting of the Beef Roundtable, a commitment was given to develop a 'Beef Pricewatch' online tool to improve price transparency, the 'Beef Pricewatch' app was subsequently launched in October 2014. This app makes the following information available to farmers free of charge and in a very accessible manner: the average price at national and individual factory level for Steers, Heifers, Cows, and Young and Old Bulls.

It presents beef producers with a comparison for a representative group of animals in each category, such as the average R3 price for Steers and Heifers, and the average U3 price for Young Bulls. Behind these representative prices, the user is one click away from detailed information, at factory level, for prices across the entire 15 x 15 beef carcass classification grid. The App is updated on a weekly basis.

In addition, discussions at EU level led to the development of the EU Market Observatory in 2016, which provides more transparency by disseminating Member State-level market data and short-term analysis in a timely manner.

There have been on-going discussions at the Beef Roundtable in relation to market developments and forecasts including updates on the work Bord Bia has done with key stakeholders on the main markets and channels served by Irish product, with a view to developing a clear understanding of the market place.