The Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee said that he was “amazed that anyone could be amazed” by the figures showing an inexorable growth of animals grading O and P while the numbers killing out at the premium grades fell sharply. Michael Guinan said that anyone who hadn’t noticed this trend couldn’t have been paying attention and he repeated his organisation’s criticism that the QPS had been designed from ‘Day One’ to benefit the factories and systematically disadvantage farmers. “In fairness to ICMSA, I think that we alone can look at these figures and say ‘we told you so’. From its inception we said that the QPS had a design bias in favour of the beef factories and had been over-complicated in a way that we felt was deliberately done to confuse even the most experienced farmers and throw them off when it came to calculating what their animals killed out at. We said that the first day the Grid was unveiled and nothing has happened since that would change our opinion. In fact, we have been completely vindicated; over a period when every single respectable commentator has said that the standard of animal going into the factories has improved, we can look at these figures and see that the number of P grades has doubled since 2012. We can look again and see that less than one in three bullocks is now scoring a R – and this, remember, when everyone is agreed that the overall standard has never been higher! ICMSA was always convinced that QPS was designed precisely to disadvantage farmers and – unfortunately at a cost to farmers of many millions of Euro – we have been proved absolutely right. We have raised that conviction at every opportunity and forum since it was introduced and we managed to get a commitment at the Beef Forum held in November 2015 for a review – a review that has still not happened. We will not concede on this; the Grid was wrong and flawed the first day and it’s still wrong and flawed and the figures and trends are there in plain view for anyone to see.”
Ends 15 August 2017.
Michael Guinan, 086-8766851
Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office