Cattle factories accused of “crippling” Irish farmers

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Irish farmers lash out at processors

Related tags: Beef, Livestock

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has accused cattle factories of “crippling” farmers with their obsession to cut beef prices.

IFA national livestock chairman Angus Woods said this was due to the meat plants​ obsession to “swell their own pockets”.

The latest drive by the meat plants to cut prices below a base price of €3.80/kg would do “serious financial damage”​ at farm level, he said.

He also pointed out that cattle prices in its main export market in the UK had increased by 4p/kg per week for the last three weeks. However, there have been price cuts from the Irish factories.

The factory pull on beef prices is also inflicting damage on the weanling and store cattle trade in the marts across the country and undermining the suckler cow herd. 

This comes as the trade is already under severe pressure from the drought and fodder situation and the factory price cuts had ripped “confidence out of the trade,” ​he added.  

Woods also said this came after a year when farmers have had to endure an extremely long and severe winter/spring period with massive meal bills. And on top of this the drought had involved farmers having to feed meals on grass at significant additional expense.

He also pointed out that cattle prices in the UK were £3.76/kg(w/e 1 Sept), which is the equivalent of €4.40/kg.

“Prices in the UK have increased every week from early August, rising from £3.63/kg to £3.76/kg, a price increase equivalent to 15c/kg,”​ he said.  

“At the same time Irish factories have cut the prices. This makes no market sense and farmers are at a total loss over the silence of Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the Government on the issue. It’s like they don’t care about the €3bn livestock sector and the 100,000 farmers involved.”

Related topics: Meat

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