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Meat Industry Ireland: IFA Protest Was “Counterproductive”

Published on Oct 28 2014 11:18 AM

Meat Industry Ireland: IFA Protest Was “Counterproductive”

Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has called the recent Irish Farmer’s Association (IFA) beef price blockade “misguided and counterproductive.”

Ciaran Fitzgerald, chairman of the MII said that the blockade will damage Ireland’s reputation with customers and ultimately will not impact EU beef market prices.

MII also said that cattle prices are strengthening and the trend from the market is positive, “therefore this IFA action is very unnecessary and questionable.” The group said that while Irish cattle prices have been weaker this year (down 10-12% from the record high levels of 2013), prices across the entire EU have been reduced, which is is a direct result of a significant drop in EU beef consumption, which has fallen by 700,000 tonnes since 2010.

The MII said in a statement: “Moreover, Irish beef production is up 15% year-on-year so we are selling an additional 75,000 tonnes of beef into a market where consumption has fallen dramatically during the recession. Exports in 2014 will exceed €2 billion in value, repeating the record levels achieved in 2013.

“In the last 10 years, Irish cattle prices have increased from approximately 92% of the EU average to currently 100% of the EU average. Given that Ireland exports 500,000 tonnes of beef into these EU markets, this is a strong performance.”

MII said that through its organisation, senior industry members have offered to engage with the IFA, but they have refused to attend any meetings. It said that the Beef Roundtable set up by Minister Coveney earlier on in the year is “the appropriate place to engage on issues of importance to the sector, not the factory gate.”

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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