The Beef Plan Movement have called on the government to implement income supports for beef farmers in the form of direct payments immediately due to uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit deadline extension.
A spokesperson for the group said: “These direct payments should include a payment directly to the farmer per animal for each live export. This payment will help cattle rearing farmers and also have the added benefit of potentially reducing the national herd destined for beef finishing thus increasing competition for finished cattle.
“Increased exports are a necessity for the future of the beef industry as an outlet for increasing numbers of dairy bred beef cattle.
“A carefully framed slaughter premium for finished cattle could be considered but only in the event that it was targeted only at increasing farmer income. Consensus between all parties would be required on this measure to ensure it was beneficial to the farmer and not a support for factory owned or controlled feedlots”.
The Beef Plan Movement also wants an investigation relating to the drivers for the beef price drop seen since the Brexit vote and who has gained/lost from this price drop.
“In the interests of transparency, it should be assessed what impact Brexit has had on retailer margins, processor margins and farmer (producer) margins,” the spokesperson for the group added.