Carcase classification and carcase presentation (Trim) controls in slaughter plants are carried out by a dedicated team of specialist staff in the Beef Carcase Classification Section within my Department.
Their remit under EU legislation is to carry out un-announced inspections to ensure that meat plants comply with these legislative requirements for classification, weights and trim.
The checks carried out are system checks that explore whether factory systems and processes in the area of carcase grading and trim are in line with legislation.
The sale of a bovine to a Meat Factory and the price that is determined is a business transaction between the farmer and factory.
As part of on-going dialogue with the industry both within the Beef Forum and directly with Meat Industry Ireland, I have stressed the need for positive engagement between suppliers and processors and I understand that Meat Industry Ireland has accepted that no individual farmer should be at a loss from a mistake made in a factory in relation to the application of carcase dressing procedures. I understand that processors will introduce a payment to the farmer supplier to reflect any loss, in each case where my Department has applied a trim fine on a particular carcase. Such payment will be identified on the payment remittance docket, so that farmers will be aware of the penalty.