There are 13 items on a list produced by the Beef Plan Movement detailing issues it wants addressed with the factories.
The Beef Plan said the age limit of 30 months on steers and heifers and 16 months on bulls devalued a farmer’s livestock once the age limit was reached. It called for a review of the age limits.
The preceding issues were the limit on herd-to-herd animal movements and the 70 residency requirement for quality-assured animals. The Beef Plan said the movement limit discouraged open trading of stock and that the residency rule devalued factory fit livestock presented for sale in marts.
It called for the removal of herd-to-herd movements as a way to differentiate the price paid for animals and for a review of non-transferable quality assurance status between farms.
The Beef Plan said carcase weight thresholds for cattle and sheep were changed without a reasonable notice period. It said changes to weights devalued stock and forced sale at a time not best suited to the farmer.
The Beef Plan requested a published upper carcase weight threshold with a documented notice period for any changes.
Number six and seven on the list related to excessive trim.
It said as no liveweight was recorded it was impossible to challenge kill-out percentages, allowing excessive trim go unnoticed
The Beef Plan said there was excessive trade being taken from cattle and sheep carcases and that this was influencing the grade assigned.
It said as no liveweight was recorded it was impossible to challenge kill-out percentages, allowing excessive trim go unnoticed. The Beef Plan called for livestock to be weighed live prior to slaughter and these weights be made available to farmers. It said mechanical grading images should also be available.
On factory quotes, the Beef Plan said the terms of business were not clearly detailed by the processor. It said without this, farmers were in a vulnerable business position. It wanted a binding quote sheet introduced detailing the minimum number of animals, the animal type, the base price per kg and the agreed slaughter date.
The Beef Plan had an issue with agents working for more than one factory. It said this reduced the competition for the farmer and that agents should only be allowed work for one processor.
The second-last point on the list was the insurance paid by farmers for animals delivered to processors. It said insurance costs should be incorporated into the price quoted per kg, similar to the fifth quarter.
The last point was in relation to sheep EID tags. It said the mandatory requirement for lambs to have EID tags should apply to all imported live animals.
Factories will have to come and talk to us – Beef Plan negotiator
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