Bord Bia says it is concerned about “headwinds” which are threatening EU beef price.

Interim CEO Michael Murphy said the national food board is concerned about “headwinds around the prices of beef, particularly into the continent at moment”.

“You would be concerned about the price currently being paid for animals that are going to come to market early next year because getting the consumer to pay the current prices to justify that is going to be a challenge,” he said.

Murphy was speaking at the Irish Farmers Journal breakfast briefing with industry leaders at the National Ploughing Championships on Wednesday.

‘Intensifying’ promotion

In reaction to those beef price fears, the interim Bord Bia CEO said the organisation is “intensifying the promotion around prime cuts into our main retailers within the continent” in a bid to “actually enhance that demand”.

He said this is about working with the “right partners” and utilising Ireland’s unique status as a producer of grass-fed, premium beef.

“The solution to the competitive threat is in our own hands because we have got a unique infrastructure here in Ireland in our sustainability schemes.

“Sainsbury's, Tesco, all of those were in over the summer, trying to get under the bonnet, seeing how could they deliver a similar process for English farmers. So we’ve got something that we need to build on and make distinctive.

“That’s how you compete with the Australians and others because Sainsbury's have targets around their own greenhouse gas emissions, and we need to lean into that [to] help them to deliver that solution through Irish beef and premiumisation”, Murphy said.

Market access

The Bord Bia interim CEO also highlighted the importance of greater market access when securing higher beef prices.

“With the competitive threat of that, market access is crucial. If we’ve options other than Britain, we can actually negotiate better with Britain.

“So, having options for more cuts in more markets, gives us as an industry, a better way of actually competing with Australia and others to deliver value back to farmers. A lot of this solution is in our own hands and how we actually react to the competitive pressures out there,” Murphy said.