Farmers and factories are close to agreement on a review of the beef grid at tonight's beef talks in Backweston, the Irish Farmers Journal can reveal.

Known as the Quality Payment System (QPS), it is understood that the grid is to be reviewed subject to a terms of reference.

The Beef Plan Movement had prioritised a number of items around the QPS in advance of talks.

Two other Beef Plan issues were progressed - the introduction of weighing scales pre-slaughter on the kill line in factories will be looked at and some statistical information regarding the level of factory insurance claims will be made available to farmers.

The Irish Farmers Journal also understands that some progress was made on price transparency at EU level.

The crunch talks began on Monday at 2pm and took place at the Department of Agriculture's Backweston campus.

The Beef Plan Movement, IFA, ICMSA, ICSA, INHFA and Macra were all at the meeting, plus Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and officials from the Department of Agriculture.

The challenges in the sector, the QPS, meat markets and carcase classification were among the items discussed.

The talks ran for almost eight hours since the 2pm start, and it's understood that a draft of the progress made is being prepared. If all sides endorse that document, it is extremely unlikely that farmers will return to the factory gates before tomorrow morning.

More to follow

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