Musgraves and Tesco are to attend the next meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce in January.

The move was confirmed by both retailers on Monday evening.

Musgraves said it “supports the work of the beef taskforce” and has accepted the invitation from its chair Michael Dowling to attend the meeting on 9 January 2020.

Tesco has also said it supports the taskforce and will be attending the January meeting to discuss market trends and quality specifications in the retail sector.

IFA president Joe Healy welcomed the invitation to retailers and the attendance of those who have replied.


“At our action at retail distribution centres last week, we pointed out that retailers have been hiding in the long grass. It’s overdue, but welcome, that they will be called to account on 9 January. Each of the five major retailers must attend and fully engage,” he said.

“However, we need an urgent meeting of the taskforce, as the gap between the Irish price and the Bord Bia export benchmark price has widened to 24c/kg, with the gap with the UK over 50c/kg,” he said.

“We met the Minister last week and stressed to him that he needed to act now to help farmers. Involving the retailers is a welcome step that should have happened before now, but we need an urgent meeting as farmers are in dire straits,” he said.

Market requirements

The Department of Agriculture said both Irish and UK retailers have been invited to participate in the 9 January meeting to discuss market trends and requirements, specifically in relation to the Quality Payment System in-spec bonus criteria currently in operation in the Irish beef sector.

As part of September’s Beef Sector Agreement, a consultancy study on these in-spec bonus criteria has also been commissioned by the Department.

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