The Irish Farmers Association National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to challenge meat factories over price cuts.
Woods said that meat factories are ‘up to their usual seasonal undermining’ of the beef price in a very ‘concerted and damaging way’. He has urged Creed and his department to call in the key factory players and challenge them directly over their actions.
“The Minister has invested heavily in the beef processing sector in terms of market access over the last two years and made considerable progress,” Woods said.
“He cannot allow the factories throw all of this work back in his face with constant weekly price cuts that are not justified by market changes.”
According to Woods, factories are currently paying a base of €4.10/kg for steers and €4.20/kg for heifers, but are quoting less for later in the week. However, demand remains strong with plants anxious for cattle. Woods said with the good weather farmers are busy and thrive is very good.
Woods added that cattle supplies will remain tight for the next number of weeks and the forecast for the second half of 2018 is very similar to last year.
The latest figures from the Department of Agriculture AIMS data show that as of April 1st male cattle numbers in the 12 to 24- month age category are down 25,000 head compared to last year, and up 23,000 head in the 24 to 36-month age group.
‘A large number of this older group could already be sold. On the female beef cattle side, there was an additional 7,000 in the 24 to 36-month age group and an extra 21,000 in the 12 to 24-month age category’, Woods said in a statement.
© 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.