In reference to participation in the Bord Bia Quality assurance scheme for beef, the number of beef farms participating in Bord Bia’s Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) has been growing steadily in recent years, reflecting stronger demand coming from the marketplace for Quality Assured product.
There are now over 50,000 herdowners in the country who are members of SBLAS. My Department has carried out a review of cattle throughput at export meat plants and local abattoirs and this is the data currently available. Based on this review, SBLAS member-farms accounted for 1.55 million cattle supplied for slaughter in 2016: representing 90.4% of the total national figure of 1.72 million. In 2017, the share of cattle that came from SBLAS farms grew to 91.4%, or 1.67 million out of a total of 1.83 million slaughterings in total. The figures for 2018 are not yet available, but a further small increase is expected in the share coming from SBLAS farms.
The Quality Payment System (QPS) to which the Deputy's question also refers is a payment mechanism whereby a price is determined and paid by processors to farmer suppliers. As this is a commercial matter between processors and farmers, my Department has no role in its operation and does not consequently collect data on it.