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37
MAY
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Beef Focus
MAY
Beef Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
societies in the beef and dairy sectors work together to
develop a model for dairy beef which is sustainable and
profitable for both beef and dairy farmers". He added that
Glanbia/Kepak have explained that the scheme will be
`anchored in the market'. "Farmers must be satisfied that
the price benefits under the scheme are secured from
the market place and do not in any way undermine beef
prices outside the scheme."
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods praised
the move from Glanbia/Kepak, describing it as providing
greater certainty and reducing the risks on price is a
new and important step forward for the beef sector. The
beef farmer leader said the reality is that for any beef
system to be viable, including dairy beef, it must return
a price above the cost of production and leave a margin
for the farmer. He warned of the importance of beef
farmers understanding the precise details of the scheme,
particularly the pricing model, which is based on average
quoted factory prices and the QPS (Quality Payment
System) with additional bonuses. He added that it appears
that the demands from farmers in the scheme will evolve
over time and that Glanbia and Kepak must communicate
this clearly and support farmers to generate the level of
trust required for this scheme to progress and develop
beyond the first two years of the pilot stage.
Specific targets
Glanbia Ireland and Kepak say they have designed the
initial five-year Programme to meet specific economic
and environmental performance targets. These including
a reduction in the average carbon footprint of Club
farms through the use of methane reducing feed
additives, reduction in the average age of slaughter,
improved feed conversion e ciency, reduced feed
waste and improved fertility across the herd. An
improvement in the eating quality attributes of the Club
meat is also being pursued through a combination of
better genetics, nutrition management and optimum
processing techniques.
Beef production is precarious enterprise with variable
profitability and volatile end prices. This joint programme
by Glanbia Ireland Kepak should take at least some of
the unpredictability out of the exercise. The fact that
there are advance payments involved will relieve cash-
flow di culties while the cattle are being reared. An
increase in beef output and sales value per hectare
through enhanced on-farm e ciencies, breeding,
feeding, grassland management, animal health/welfare
and slaughter preparation and selection will all add to
the viability of rearing and finishing these calves coming
from Glanbia's dairy farms.