Farmers are demanding a ‘strong and immediate’ increase in beef prices, according to the president of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Joe Healy.
Healy said that beef farmers have been short-changed on the price this Autumn and its high time the factories restored some confidence to the beef sector and increased prices.
The IFA President was speaking to Meat Industry Ireland (MII) leaders at a meeting with the IFA in Dublin this week, where he said prices should move up to at least €4 per kilogram.
The IFA has been saying for some time that cattle farmers have come through a horrendous year with incomes on the floor and its time the meat factories stopped profiteering on the back of farmers.
He highlighted a ‘rising anger’ among farmers with the way the factories cut beef prices this autumn and continued to hold prices down at loss-making levels, despite strong returns from our main export market in the UK.
Healy argued that with the increased demand for the Christmas trade and the strength of the UK market, factories should pay more.
He highlighted how in the UK, cattle prices were £3.73 per kilogram for R3 grade steers, the equivalent of €4.42 per kilogram.
This means that the price gap between Irish and UK prices has now widened to €200 per head, which shows that the factories are not returning a fair market price to farmers and could pay a lot more.
Healy concluded that the loss-making prices from the factories over recent weeks have inflicted serious damage on livestock farmers and the beef sector.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.