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Meat Factories Now Offer Bonus for Cattle Kept on Fewer Farms

25 September 2013

UK – Meat factories in Northern Ireland are now offering an extra 4p/kg bonus for Farm Quality Assured (FQAS) animals that have not resided on more than four farms.

The announcement comes amid other bonus system amendments for animals meeting specification in a year that has seen the traceability become increasingly important for the cattle trade.

New bonus systems have increased the bonus for cattle meeting specification from 8 p/kg bonus to 10p/kg.

This is serving to buck the trend since August when base quotes plummeted to 358 p/kg for in-spec cattle.

But there has been no change to penalties for non-specification animals, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC).

The Commission says the new payment scheme has been adopted by one processing group this month and expects other companies to follow suit.

The basic FQAS specification requirements are that the animal is to be under 30 months of age, of UK origin, between 280 kg and 380 kg deadweight and fall under the qualifying grades of E,U,R 3,4 and O+3.

An additional measure that some plants may choose to impose is that the animal had to stay on the last farm for a minimum length of time.

An LMC spokesperson said: “The additional 4p/kg bonus for cattle that have resided on no more than four farms will be applicable to the majority of in-spec cattle. In 2013 to date, 94 per cent of slaughtered steers and heifers had resided on four farms or fewer.

“Most beef finishers will be acutely aware of the specifications of cattle by the NI beef plants to fulfil the needs of their main retail and foodservice customers and these stronger incentives will be welcomed as a signal from the supply chain that rewards are available to deliver the type of cattle the market wants."

TheMeatSite News Desk

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