Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1378)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

1378. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to change the four movement rule for cattle in view of the fact it is no longer required for animal health protection reasons, particularly due to the negative effect the rule can have on the price of cattle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34907/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A Quality Payment System (QPS) related to the beef grid was agreed between Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in 2009. The payment is based on the classification of the carcass in which a price differential is set between certain classification grades.

My understanding is that any additional bonus payments and the conditions attached to qualification for such payments are determined by processors and their retail customers. There are a number of conditions which pertain to such payments, including include age limits and restrictions on the number of movements allowed. These are commercial arrangements and my Department has no role in their establishment, nor in collection or analysis of the payments which are made.

At the recent Beef Stakeholder talks it was agreed that an in-depth review of market and customer criteria, in relation to the four in-spec bonus criteria will be carried out, in response to farmer stakeholder concerns. Full details of the conclusions from these talks are available on my Department's web-site: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingsectors/beef/StakeholderConclusions210819.pdf.