The news that ABP has launched an integrated supply chain programme will come as no surprise to many. Its involvement in the BLADE farm programme in Ireland and the UK was the forerunner for a more widespread programme to catch more farmers in its net.

It follows on from the Kepak/Glanbia 2020 programme launched in 2019 that targeted 50,000 cattle to be slaughtered through the programme in 2021.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the actual figure slaughtered fell short of this.

The headline figure in the ABP programme is the 20c/kg bonus on cattle meeting the ABP requirements

Having foresight on supply is very important for a beef factory and integrated supply chains offer full view of what is coming for slaughter every week.

There is obviously a massive marketing opportunity to sell the message of working with suppliers in a partnership.

The headline figure in the ABP programme is the 20c/kg bonus on cattle meeting the ABP requirements.

This is on top of the in-spec quality assurance bonus. Animals must be from a Bord Bia quality-assured herd and must have spent all of their life in a Bord Bia quality-assured herd. Jersey-bred cattle or extreme dairy breeds are not eligible for the programme. Beef cattle with 12.5% Jersey breeding are not eligible for the programme.

Suckler beef and dairy beef are included in the scheme. Young bulls must be a minimum of six months on the finishing farm and there is a maximum of one movement or two residencies on cattle. Table 1 outlines the slaughter age limit requirements of the programme.

Pricing structure

Cattle will be paid on the average quoted price (AQP) for steers and heifers of the seven ABP/Slaney plants on the week of slaughter on the grid. The AQP will not diverge by more than 5c/kg from the AQP of all of the listed plants in the country as published for that week. Breed bonuses will be paid on both Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle.

Slaughter of bulls must be agreed to with the factory prior to purchase and a maximum of 10% of a farmer’s annual slaughter can be young bulls.

Over 16-month bulls do not qualify for the bonus. ABP will review the pricing structure on an annual basis.

Programme requirements

All calves born in 2022 must have a sire recorded. Calves bought without a sire can be genotyped on the finishing farm. A minimum genetic standard will be required for all calves from 2023 onwards.

This means beef calves born from the dairy herd must be bred from a pedigree beef bull with a minimum beef sub index of €35.

All beef calves bred from the suckler herd must be bred from a pedigree beef bull with a minimum terminal index of €100 or be 5 stars on the terminal or replacement index within or across the breed.

To participate in the programme, farmers must be involved in an environmental programme like, BDGP, REAPS, BEEP-S, GLAS, Soil Improvement programme or the dairy beef calf scheme.

Animal health and feed records need to be kept in accordance with Bord Bia requirements.

Animals must be weighed a minimum of two times in their lifetime, with weights inputted into the ICBF database. The ABP bonus will be paid on cattle grading a P+ or greater.