A bonus to young farmers from processors and access to training can be crucial in creating a viable future for the beef sector, says Macra na Feirme president James Healy.
Macra has launched a new ‘Sustainable Beef Policy 2019’ setting out a roadmap to create a viable beef sector for potential new entrants. With many beef farmers struggling to break even, young farmer group’s policy document is urging a greater spotlight to be placed on farmers’ commitments to lowering the sector’s carbon footprint.
“Changing the beef sector will not be a quick or easy task, but we believe that in this policy we have put together a realistic and achievable roadmap to a more vibrant and profitable beef sector,” said James Healy.
“For this to come about it will take a unity of purpose and a commitment from all to making these changes and I call on everyone involved in all parts of the sector and the Government to make this commitment.”
Macra has presented its beef roadmap to the joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine. It states that broader access to training and advisory services can give beef farmers the knowledge and technical skills needed to safeguard their futures.
The roadmap also states that a commitment by processors to pay young farmers a bonus would recognise the fact that young farmers are the most likely to adapt and put in place the advances in technology that will drive the future of this sector.
Macra also says young farmers would benefit from the formation of EU-recognised producer organisations to negotiate with factories or exporters. This would give beef farmers who don’t have the size or scale the bargaining power of large-scale beef producers.