My name is Declan Molloy, I am the national secretary for the recently formed group the Beef Plan Movement. A little bit about the group; earlier last year a group of already well organised beef farmers decided out of desperation that the only way to secure a sustainable future for beef farming in Ireland was to unite farmers around a plan for beef. They had watched their beef enterprises become less sustainable year after year and it came to the point where they realized that if they did nothing their beef farms simply had no future. A couple of months and approximately 18 drafts later a plan was fully agreed upon and signed off on by the almost 250 beef farmers that contributed to it. This was a major milestone for Irish beef farming as for the first time ever we beef farmers have a plan for beef.
The plan’s objectives centre around (but go far beyond) the following:
• Regaining control of an animal from birth to slaughter and beyond;
• Returning a cost of production price plus a margin as a minimum; and
• Regaining respect within the beef industry.
In summary the areas covered by the 86 point plan include:
• Getting a sustainable price for our beef
• Setting up purchasing and producer groups
• Implementing changes around animal health, farm safety, government schemes and farm unions
• Marketing and selling our own beef directly
Since the inception of the plan a lot of work has taken place in particular in relation to recruiting committee members and farmers. On the committee side the group is comprised entirely of volunteer beef farmers representing every county in Ireland and each county has representatives on the national committee that jointly make the decisions. Furthermore we are currently rolling out fully elected county committees in each county. We believe this strong foundation is essential in order to ensure we work through the plan together and secure a sustainable future for beef farming in Ireland. The plan includes getting at least 40000 farmers engaged and at present in just a few short weeks we have reached almost 15000 beef farmers. We invite all farmers involved in beef production whether their primary enterprise is dairy, suckler or other to get involved and register with us. We believe that every beef farmer should be involved as it is only through uniting that we can change and improve beef farming in Ireland.
To view upcoming meetings, contact us, find more information about the group or read the plan please visit our website: www.beefplan.ie
Thank you, Kind Regards, Declan Molloy
If you would like to join the Beef Plan Movement, please click on the link below for a copy of the Registration form.