Bord Bia needs to honour beef-task force agreement on suckler beef – INHFA

The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association have called on Bord Bia to honour the agreement reached at last October’s Beef Taskforce meeting to include the term naturally reared in the promotion of suckler beef.

National President Colm O’Donnell outlined how the organisation have for some time recognised the need to include the term naturally reared with suckler beef to provide a marketing distinction in the European and UK markets. This he stated “was initially included in our 10-point plan for the suckler industry launched in July 2019 and was subsequently accepted by all stakeholders on the Beef Taskforce.”

On this basis it is, he stressed “very disappointing to see a recent survey conducted by Bord Bia on the suckler brand not reflect the change in narrative to address the shortcomings of the word suckler not being recognised by many European consumers.” If he continued “the survey had been conducted using the full term Naturally Reared Suckler Beef, it is most likely that there would have been a much higher recognition of the type of beef on offer.”

Unfortunately, we can’t now, stated the Farm Leader “change what has happened, but it is vital in the best interests of our suckler farmers and the integrity of the stakeholder committee that the words naturally reared are included in all communications from Bord Bia that refer to our suckler brand.

In concluding O’Donnell pointed to how all Irish beef is currently marketed which is visually communicated using the photo of a prime beef calf with its mother. This he stated shows “that consumers value and recognise the visual concept of naturally reared beef and this is why Bord Bia needs to ensure consistency in its communication on any suckler beef brand.”