LMC developing ‘grass-fed’ status for NI beef

The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) are leading work with industry representatives and DAERA officials to develop a grass-fed standard and verification system for NI beef.

The standard will be equivalent to a similar scheme in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). It will allow NI beef to be labelled under an all-island Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI) for grass-fed beef, assuming the PGI application is approved by the EU.

In response to a written Assembly question last week, Agriculture Minister Gordon Lyons said that meetings are scheduled between officials from both jurisdictions to monitor progress.

“My officials as well as the LMC continue to engage with both Bord Bia and DAFM (Department of Agriculture in ROI) officials on the matter,” he said in response to the SDLP’s Patsy McGlone.

Veganuary flops in 2021

Analysis published by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) highlights that attempts to encourage people to give up meat in January 2021 were largely unsuccessful.

Each year the campaign asks consumers to cut out meat and dairy for the first month of the year. Despite the efforts of ambassadors including Paul McCartney and Chris Packham, the QMS report shows that less than 1% of the population took up the challenge, with only 18% of these people sticking with it for the whole month.

Poots returns

Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots has been re-appointed Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

The DUP politician temporarily stepped down from the role at the start of February to receive treatment for cancer. East Antrim MLA Gordon Lyons covered the ministerial role on an interim basis.

Dale Farm rebrands and targets growth

Dale Farm has rebranded as part of a “major growth strategy” which covers the next three years.

The dairy processor has redeveloped its consumer facing brand and has added a new mission statement of “Sharing Goodness Everyday”.

Likewise, the co-op’s corporate identity has been rebranded with the tag line “Your Dairy Cooperative”.

“Our three-year plan will see us further grow our presence within existing and new markets and deepen our presence in a variety of dairy product categories,” said Dale Farm chief executive Nick Whelan.

Erwin acquires Ashfield and Wilson

Erwin Agri-Care Ltd. has acquired Dungannon based Claas dealers Ashfield and Wilson.

It means that Erwin Agri-Care is now the sole supplier of new Claas tractors and machinery in NI. The company operates from its main site in Crumlin and also has an outlet in Limvady.

Machinery tax allowance only for companies

The new “super-deduction” tax allowance for machinery investment does not apply to businesses that operate as sole traders or partnerships.

The measure, which was announced in the UK budget last week, gives 130% capital allowance on plant and machinery expenditure for limited companies.

Previously, businesses could only deduct 100% of the value of eligible items from their profits before working out tax liabilities.

However, according to Catherine Vickery from accountancy firm Old Mill, sole traders and partnerships should not become limited companies to avail of the new super-deduction.

Her advice stems from the planned increase in corporation tax from 19% to 25% in April 2023 (although the 19% rate still applies to those with profits below £50,000).

“It all sounds very attractive but against a backdrop of 25% corporation tax in 2023, it will be really quite penal,” Vickery maintained.