The Irish organic beef sector is “losing value” when suckler animals leave a certified organic holding and enter into the conventional beef sector at the weanling stage, the attendees of an RDS and Teagasc webinar on organics were told last Friday.
The Government’s target of increasing the area under organics to 7.5% of the farmed area would mean an extra 14,000 cattle per year entering the system on top of the current 11,000, said Good Herdsmen’s John Purcell.
The organic price premium currently being paid to Irish organic beef finishers is 15% more than the price their animals would achieve on the grid in a conventional factory, he said.
The price of organic beef relative to that of conventional beef fluctuates, having been approximately €1/kg when beef prices were lower, the representative of the organic beef processor said.
“Now, it is about 15% currently, but it is so hard to follow.
We try to park the conventional prices if we can,” he explained.