The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association has welcomed Thursday’s news regarding Kuwait, but warned that unless prices go up for beef farmers, the whole project becomes “irrelevant”.
Speaking on the ICMSA’s website, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, Des Morrison, said that there needs to be a speedy and marked improvement in beef price to the farmer producers, or else the move is just a marketing exercise.
“Farmers need to see upwards price movements on beef and if the Kuwait announcement helps there then that’s a positive, but otherwise it just becomes a marketing exercise, it’s simple as that,” he said.
Morrison revealed that farmers were happy to recognise the skill and dedication of Ireland’s negotiators and the energy they brought to the efforts around sourcing and winning new markets to offset the threat to our traditional British markets.
He highlighted, however, that too often in the past, these new markets had been opened-up with benefits seeming to flow exclusively to the exporting factories, with no improvement at all in the prices paid to the people who actually produced the beef.
Morrison said that the actual value of the work done in opening-up the Kuwaiti market would, and should, only be judged in light of the positive results it brought to the farmers – not overall trade statistics or marketing reports.
The new agreement, as was confirmed by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, on Thursday was reached with the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition of Kuwait, and will see future shipments of Irish beef, sheepmeat and poultry to the country where Irish agri-food exports amounted €17.1 million last year, 93% of which were dairy exports.
© 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.