MII hits back at IFA’s criticism on beef processors

By Ashley Williams contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tensions are rising in the Irish beef industry over cattle prices
Tensions are rising in the Irish beef industry over cattle prices

Related tags: Beef

Beef and lamb processing sector association Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has said blaming beef processors for cutting cattle prices fails to take into account the market realities and that the processing sector shares common ground with frustrations from the farming industry.

The MII comment came after the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), along with livestock farmers, protested outside the Beef Forum in Dublin this week, following a row over cutting cattle prices for farmers.

The IFA has accused Ireland’s Minister of Agriculture Michael Creed of “standing idly by​” while beef farmers continued to financially struggle and has claimed factories are “tearing the hell out of prices and forcing them down well below the cost of production​”.

The Minister hasn’t lifted a finger while the factories have robbed farmers by systematically cutting cattle prices. At the same time, prices to farmers are rising in our main export market in the UK​,” said IFA president Joe Healy

However, MII’s senior director Cormac Healy said there were many strategic issues facing the beef sector and noted the price paid for Irish cattle was ahead of last year.

Recent criticism of beef processors on beef price performance fails to recognise the strong price paid throughout the year, with Irish cattle price running at 107% of the EU average price year-to-date, and also ignores the challenging market environment at play since mid-summer, particularly across northern Europe​,” said Healy.

Frustration with recent weakening in Irish cattle price is understandable, but criticism of beef processors fails to take into account market realities and the fact that the year-to-date price paid for Irish cattle remains ahead of last year. Only in the last two weeks have current prices dropped below the corresponding period last year​.”

Speaking about the IFA protests, Cormac Healy added that the Beef Forum provided a platform for the Irish beef industry to work together to address challenges.

From our perspective the Beef Forum provides a suitable arena for cattle and beef sector stakeholders to discuss the many challenges impinging on our sector, allowing us to work collaboratively to develop common approaches where possible, while also remaining free to disagree where appropriate​,” Healy added.

The IFA has continually asked Minister Creed to stand up for farmers and described the Budget meeting next week as “D-Day” for the farming industry.

Related topics: Meat

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