Agricultural reform is unlikely to dent Irish farmers’ commitment to beef production, industry leaders were told.
The fear that decoupling subsidy from production would lead to a significant fall in production is being played down by Irish producers.
While production in Europe was expected to decline, Dan Browne, MD of Dawn Meats, said Irish farmers would stay committed after decoupling.
Speaking at the Bord Bia European Meat Forum in Dublin this week, he said that while there would be some drop off in production, it was likely to be limited to around 10%
“I think we should be reasonably confident of getting a reasonable return.”
He said Ireland would have around half a million tonnes of beef available for export post-decoupling.
Delegates to the conference heard that opportunities to export into Europe were increasing as EU production declined and consumption continued to rise.
Aidan Cotter, Bord Bia’s director of operations, said: “Europe now for the first time in a quarter of a century no longer produces enough beef to meet its own needs.”
And with the likely return of OTM beef in the UK, Irish producers are now keener than ever to establish new markets on the continent. One such opportunity is in Italy which has one of the highest consumption levels of beef in the world.
Meanwhile, Danish nutritionist Dr Arne Astrup said replacing carbohydrates with meat and dairy proteins was an effective way to lose weight.
He said people on low carb diets lost more weight and were more successful at keeping it off than those on high carbs.