The agreement focuses on “direct benefit” for farmers, which includes a number of interventions for beef producers. The following interventions were agreed: the beef task force was created on the basis of an agreement reached on 15 September 2019 and oversees the implementation of the measures under the agreement. The Beef Task Force is currently applying for PGI status for Irish beef. Prior to the implementation of a new EU-wide price communication regulation, the agreement provides that the division will provide additional detailed reports on the prices of the Beef Price Watch app. Bord Bia will “intensify” activities to promote Irish beef in key EU and Chinese markets. Since then, factories have introduced severe weight penalties, maintained legal threats, and the price of Irish beef lags behind other countries. Relations between factories and farmers have even deteriorated since 15 September and the minister has sided with the factories by accepting their small declaration of continued legal threats,” he said. A task force on the beef market will be set up to ensure the implementation of the commitments made under the agreement. IFA President Joe Healy warned that the agreement was “far from a perfect agreement” and that some aspects “will require much more work.” After a marathon at the Ministry of Agriculture, an agreement was reached to end the beef dispute. At the meeting in Dublin, representatives of Irish retailers discussed members of the task force on market and customer requirements, including the current bonus criteria for the Irish beef sector.
They also pledged to look at the independent review of these requirements, commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Maritime Policy. Mr Healy said the new beef price tracker indexes published last week by Bia`s edge show that Irish cattle producers have had to raise their prices, with Irish beef prices now 17c off the Bia Prime Export benchmark price. Agreed protocols and relevant update documents will be published as soon as possible on the DAFM website: agriculture.gov.ie/farmingsectors/beef/beeftaskforce. The task force would provide a “strong implementation structure” for commitments made in this agreement, with timelines and stakeholder commitments. In the second part and part two, a task force on the beef market will be set up to play a leadership role in developing a “sustainable path” for the future of the beef sector in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability. “I hope this agreement will be a first step towards promoting stronger partnerships in this sector that is critical to the Irish economy and rural Ireland.” In addition, the second part of the agreement entitled “Strategic Structural Reforms” sets out strategic measures to eliminate “structural imbalances” in the beef sector. The document describes online exports as a “critical opportunity” to improve competition in this sector. The meat industry, Ireland, welcomed the conclusion of the beef negotiations, but warned that the seven-week dispute had been “an extremely damaging episode for all concerned in the beef and sheep sectors.” Healy stated that beef prices cannot remain at the current level of economic losses and need to be increased. The group called for an immediate and substantial increase in the price of beef products. “The agreement negotiated in September requires all parties to submit disputes to the beef task force before they intensify.