Beef markets dominated the discussions at the 10th meeting of the beef taskforce last week.

Representatives from the main meat processors, following an invitation from the chair Michael Dowling, joined the meeting to discuss the market situation including future challenges and opportunities and to answer questions that the taskforce had for them.

The three Grant Thornton reports have now been published, with Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue stating: “The reports were an important starting point for further work on transparency in the marketplace.”

Meat Industry Ireland outlined to the meeting the importance of continued efforts to gain access to international markets, particularly in China, where Bord Bia have highlighted future growth opportunities for Irish beef.

After the meeting, MII said that Irish beef cattle prices are currently at a six-year high, 10% ahead of the main continental markets and that this reflected a strong performance and delivery from their members.

Macra highlighted the issue of bull beef and called on processors to establish a bonus structure on a par with bullock and heifer bonuses.

Macra president John Keane said: “Despite the strong credentials of bull beef to meet both climate ambition and to protect the Irish suckler sector, bull beef continues to receive very little support from processors.”