As part of the original list of actions drafted up under the Beef Sector Agreement in September 2019, it was agreed that Teagasc would undertake a review of all the possible strategies for a revised pricing system which would include new technology.

Teagasc looked at a cuts-based payment model which would follow the same idea that milk is paid out on (A+B-C) system where A is protein, B is fat and C is the processing cost.

This would be replicated in beef pricing by the following: A (high-value cuts) + B (medium-value cuts) + C (lower-value cuts) + D (fifth-quarter value) – E (processing costs). Teagasc said this system would provide clearer financial incentives for producers to breed animals with attributes that are desired by consumers and a better reflection of animal values and cut returns.

Current video imaging analysis technology can facilitate this new cuts-based payment.

However, Teagasc has indicated that further research and industry feedback is required before any changes would be made to the current system.

A previous review of the Quality Payment System by Teagasc in December 2020, which looked at whether the price differentials needed to change between sub-grades in line with current beef prices, found that the current price differential of 5.6c/kg (rounded to 6c/kg) would move to 6.86c/kg.