Farmers Journal weekly podcast: Agribusiness Report launch and Balmoral voices
Listen to extracts from the panel discussion on the marketing of Irish food at the launch of the annual Agribusiness Report and an update on Irish Country Living's supermarket price watch.

Subscribe to the Farmers Journal's weekly podcast on iTunes

At the launch of the annual Agribusiness Report published by the Irish Farmers Journal in association with KPMG, Today FM's Matt Cooper moderated a discussion between Tesco Ireland's commercial director John-Paul O'Reilly, Google's head of Northern Europe Shane Holland and Channel 4 economics editor Paul Mason.

Listen to selected extracts from their conversation on the future marketing of Ireland's food production or watch a video of the entire event here.

The Irish Farmers Journal also held a business briefing at the Balmoral Show, where Northern Ireland correspondent talked to Owen Brennan, executive chairman of the Belfast-based animal nutrition company Devenish.

Staying at the Balmoral Show, Irish Farmers Journal reporter Thomas Hubert talked to Mike Fraser, a Northern Ireland farmer determined to restore the Dexter breed to its former glory.

Finally, Irish Country Living's consumer editor Ciara Leahy tells Roisin Healy about the trends emerging from four years of price monitoring across Ireland's supermarkets.

Listen to each item separately:

Missed the previous episodes of the podcast? Catch up below!

Balmoral Show special - Irish Farmers Journal business briefing

Episode 7 - 13 May 2015: Spring breeding and focus on Northern Ireland

Episode 6 - 6 May 2015: Weather, fertilisers, blogger and harvesters

Episode 5 - 29 April 2015: New beef scheme and blackcurrant rebirth

Episode 4 - 22 April 2015: Farm safety and crop growth update

Episode 3 - 15 April 2015: GLAS, Ornua results and social welfare entitlements

Episode 2 - 8 April 2015: Markets for Irish beef

Episode 1 - 31 March 2015: End of milk quotas

Tractor run and BBQ raises €12,000 for charity
The FCI has raised a substantial sum of money for six charities from their annual tractor run and BBQ.

Up to €12,000 was raised by the Association of Farm Contractors in Ireland (FCI) through its annual charity BBQ and auction held on 15 July in Co Meath.

Contractor brothers Patrick, Peter and Michael Farrelly hosted the event, which also included the Mickey Farrelly Tractor Run in memory of their late father.

To date, the FCI annual charity BBQ and auctions have raised over €115,000

The event saw a strong attendance and was supported by a large number of food suppliers.

“We are indebted to all of the generous food suppliers who supported us in staging the 2018 FCI charity BBQ. We also thank the contributions from the huge attendance, which have provided us with the opportunity to support so many worthwhile charities," said FCI general secretary Peter Farrelly.

“To date, the FCI annual charity BBQ and auctions have raised over €115,000 for many local and national charities,” he said.

The six charities that received money included:

  • Meath Palliative Care (€3,500)
  • Save our Sons & Daughters (SOSAD) (€2,000)
  • Support Organisation for Trisomy (SOFT) (€2,000)
  • Order of Malta, Kells (€1,000)
  • Order of Malta, Swords (€1,500)
  • Carnaross Community First Responders (€2,000)
  • Read more

    Drive to remember makes its final journey at Ploughing

    Listen: ‘Awful lot of extra stress on farmers’ – Embrace Farm

    TB compensation – concern over ‘subtle pressure’ on valuers
    The ICSA has stated that higher rates should be paid for higher-calibre cattle.

    Valuers who determine TB compensation rates should be given free rein to do their jobs without interruption from the Department of Agriculture, according to the ICSA.

    “When it comes to breeding stock, or animals with show potential, there has to be flexibility in the system to allow valuers to give an honest and true assessment of what an animal is worth.

    "In these cases, average price ranges from thousands of animals sold in marts each week is meaningless,” ICSA animal health and welfare chair Hugh Farrell said.

    Too much subtle pressure is being put on valuers

    Currently, a ceiling of €3,000 is applied for payments in respect of any individual bovine reactor animals.

    Exceptions are made for a €4,000 payment for one stock bull per breakdown or €5,000 for one pedigree stock bull.

    “[The] ICSA is concerned that too much subtle pressure is being put on valuers to avoid giving the real value of a high-calibre cow or heifer.

    While the farmer can appeal the valuation, so too can the Department

    “As it stands, the odds are stacked against a farmer who has TB reactors. While the farmer can appeal the valuation, so too can the Department.

    “Unless there is a strong body of evidence that a valuer is continuously getting it wrong, the Department should accept that, at times, there will be stock that are much more valuable than any paper exercise in average values.”

    Read more

    Wildlife causes 25% of TB breakdowns

    Badger TB vaccine under spotlight

    New beef group to be launched
    An 86-point plan to try to turn around the current issues within the beef industry is to be launched on Monday night.

    The Irish Farmers Journal understands a launch meeting will take place tonight in Co Meath of a newly formed group of beef farmers who have come together because of deep concerns over where the beef industry is going and the lack of profit for the primary producer.

    The Irish Farmers Journal has seen the launch document, which includes an 86-point plan to try to turn around the current issues within the beef industry.

    Number of phases

    The plan outlines a number of phases, which include several references to producer groups and outlines an aim to have “50% of the country’s beef cattle sold through producer groups in the next three years”.

    Under phase one, the group proposes to hand in a number of demands to factories and give them time to respond.

    If the response isn’t adequate, the group proposes “not to send any cattle to a factory under a set price” and “not to send cattle to a particular factory at short notice”.

    Bonus

    The group has also proposed a suckler-bred bonus to reflect the higher costs of suckler beef production.

    The Irish Farmers Journal understands that over 1,000 farmers have engaged with the group so far and the target for the group is to grow participant numbers very fast to add further strength to its calls to action.

    Read more

    Farmer writes: the lunacy of suckler farming

    Suckler cow sector at a critical juncture