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Creed Chairs Beef Forum

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today chaired the eight meeting of the Beef Forum. The meeting was the first chaired by Minister Creed and it  is a commitment in the Programme for Government to continue with the Forum as a vehicle for positive engagement between stakeholders in this critically important sector.

Commenting on today’s meeting, the Minister said:   “The Beef forum is a critically important vehicle for engagement between the stakeholders in the sector, including processors, marts, farm bodies and relevant state agencies. It is not realistic to expect the forum to solve all of the issues of the market place, but there have been a number of significant achievements already. I am committed to continuing with the forum, because it is really important that stakeholders have a common understanding of the strategic challenges facing the sector, including those related to farm incomes. Today I agreed to engage with stakeholders in the agenda for the next Beef Forum, and also to invite representatives of the live export trade to make a presentation on the challenges and opportunities facing them.”

The meeting, the eighth occasion in all that the Roundtable has met, focused on the current state of the beef market and the outlook for the remainder of 2016 and the implications of yesterday’s proposals from the European Commission on climate change. It also included presentations from ICBF on latest developments in genomic evaluations and from the Department on implementation of the national Clean Livestock Policy. Minister Creed also announced his intention to establish a meat implementation group, with representation from stakeholders, to focus solely on the implementation of the meats sector recommendations in the Food Wise 2025 strategy.

Commenting on this the Minister said “The implementation process for any strategy is vital for its success. I currently chair the Food Wise High Level Implementation Committee (HLIC), with level representatives from all the relevant Departments and State agencies. However, I believe that the stakeholders who contributed to the strategy should now take ownership of the implementation of these actions. I will shortly be establishing a Meat Sector Subgroup to drive the implementation of the 75 meat actions in the strategy, under an independent Chairperson.  I will be making a further announcement on the composition of the Group in the very near future”.

Commenting on the markets discussion at today’s meeting,the Minister commented “There is no doubt that there are challenges on the horizon not least the uncertainty as a result of the recent UK referendum. This is by far our largest market for our beef exports and it’s important that the sector is prepared for any changes which may be coming. As part of our overall contingency planning, I have established a dedicated unit in my Department to work on all of these issues. I have also convened a consultative committee of stakeholders to ensure a full exchange of information as the negotiations proceed.  The first meeting of this committee took place in the first week of July and will arrange to meet when necessary. I had also asked the relevant agencies, including Bord Bia to consider their response and they updated us today on a number of a number of measures which they have taken including, deepening customer engagement and extending market reach in the UK with the aim of helping Irish exporters companies maintain their competitiveness there”.

 The Roundtable also received updates on a number of other key initiatives since its last meeting:

  • The roll out of the €300,000 DAFM scheme to fund new mart modernisation screens in order to assist farmers when purchasing animals at livestock marts. The Department launched the scheme in May and almost 70 marts have applied for the grant to upgrade screens in their rings.
  • The implementation of the BDGP, with almost 20,000 participants now having completed their training under the scheme. So far the scheme has paid out almost €40 million euro to over 22,000 herd owners. The Minister also took the opportunity to remind the participants in the BDGP of the requirement to complete the Carbon Navigator tool by the 31 October deadline.
  •  The Forum also received a presentation from Sean Coughlan, Chief Executive of ICBF later on recent to progress on the genomic evaluations.
  • The recent announcement by the US authorities to extend their approval for Irish beef to include manufacturing beef, and the work underway to extend market access to a range of other third countries. On the live exports side, the opening of the Turkish and re-opening of the Egyptian markets to live exports provides another outlet for exporters in this sector.
  • With regards to other markets, the Minister confirmed his intention to lead a trade delegation in early September which will visit China, Singapore and Vietnam where access for Irish beef will among the main priorities.
  • There was a presentation by DAFM on the implications of yesterday’s proposal by the European Commission Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) and the accompanying Impact Assessment setting out Ireland’s non-ETS (emission trading sectors) target under the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. The importance of scheme such as the BDGP in further improving the carbon efficiency of Irish farms was emphasised by all parties.
  • The National Clean Livestock Policy was also discussed and the key role which all parties can play in its implementation in order to further enhance the reputation of Irish beef as being worlds class.

Concluding the Minister commented “There is no room for complacency when it comes to the development of the Irish beef sector. There are challenges ahead and it’s important that all stakeholders are working together to face them. We have a range of supports in place for the beef sector under the Department’s €4bn Rural Development Fund, including beef genomics, knowledge transfer, GLAS and Tams. However, we also need the market to be contributing to on-farm viability. The Beef Forum cannot solve all of the market issues, but can serve a very useful function in informing policy development and building a framework for positive engagement between stakeholders who must appreciate their mutual interest in developing the sector. ”


Note for Editors:

All of today’s presentations will be available on the DAFM website at


To view this Press Release as a PDF:DAFMPR 86/2016 (pdf 448Kb) 

Date Released: 22 July 2016