The beef sector is once again embroiled in a heated debate on carcase specifications as factories move to impose penalties on overweight carcases. Most are trying to cut farmers by 10-20c/kg on carcases over 420kg. The move clearly shows the extent to which the Beef Forum has failed farmers. It has been exposed for what it is: a political platform focused on achieving politically acceptable compromises rather than showing any real leadership.

There has been no attempt by many of the organisations on the Beef Forum to inform the debate on carcase weights with the facts. Where is the economic analysis showing what impact placing an upper ceiling on output from the sucker herd will have on profitability? How will restricting output from the suckler herd affect the carbon footprint? What impact will a reduction in carcase weight have on the percentage of beef moving into the higher value food service and retail sectors and to what extent will this increase the price paid to farmers?