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Coveney wants more 'communication' between farmers and beef factories

He said that it is critically important to restore confidence and build trust between suppliers and processors.

Image: b3d_/Flickr

THE MINISTER FOR Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney said he would like to see “clearer communications” between farmers and beef factories.

Speaking today on implementing reconsiderations contained in the Dowling Report on the beef sector, Coveney said that it was “critically important to restore confidence and build trust between suppliers and processors”.

He said he would like to see action being taken on the recommendations made in the report, stating that more communication is needed on prices and specification.

Dowling report

The Dowling Report made recommendations in relation to the provision of clear, simple and transparent information to farmers on price and specification based on the grid system.

It also referred to the need to ensure that any adjustments to specification take adequate account of the normal production cycle, and in relation to the development of contract models to give farmers more security when it comes to supplying animals.

“Farmers need to have a simple, comprehensible framework for determining the price that will be paid for their animals. There has been an understandable period of reflection on the report’s contents at this stage, and I expect processors to take pro active steps to work with farming organisations to deal with these issues,” said Coveney.

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Irish farmers

He said that Irish beef farmers are “feeling the pressure at the moment” as prices have declined significantly since the highs of last year, not only in Ireland, but internationally.

Coveney says this makes it even more important that the relationship between processors and farmers “is built on transparency and trust”.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association’s (ICSA) president Patrick Kent said:

“The Minister is now getting the message that there is a crisis of confidence in the beef sector,” said Kent.

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