The Beef Farmer, Processor Relationship; What Needs to Change?
My name is Aidan Gleeson and I am a beef farmer living on the Limerick - Cork border in the south of Ireland. During my involvement in Macra na Feirme (the Irish young farmers’ organisation) and more recently as County Limerick Chairman of IFA (Irish Farmers Association), I have seen frustrations building up between farmers and meat processors. I chose my topic “the beef farmer, processor relationship, what needs to change?” in an effort to address the adversarial positions that exist in the industry.
My hypothesis is that if common ground is found that all the stakeholders in the industry will benefit. This report is targeted at all the stakeholders in industry especially those in positions of leadership.
Farmers are seeking balance to be restored to the industry and should be rewarded for the key role they play. To achieve this, transparency in terms of the marketplace is vital. Beef processors strive to be as efficient as possible while maximising the return from the market place. They require the cooperation of producers to consistently supply suitable sustainable produce to meet the demands of a premium marketplace price. In an environment where a significant proportion of producers are operating at or below the cost of production, the challenge for the industry is how to improve this situation. To meet the challenges that threaten the future viability of the Irish Beef Industry. We must address certain objectives.
- Fostering Better relationships between all stakeholders in the industry.
- Encourage innovation and adapt to changing conditions.
- Provide leadership to encourage this innovation
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