IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said beef farmers with cattle to sell now have made huge investments to have these cattle for factories at this time of year.
Without these committed beef finishers, factories would not be able to service our key markets with guaranteed weekly supplies of beef.
He said it is not acceptable how factories are treating these farmers over the past number of weeks, slowing kills to manage the tight supplies and dropping prices.
“Clearly, factories have arrangements in place with some of their larger suppliers but it is not acceptable that smaller scale beef finishers are forced into taking lower prices and incurring prolonged costs on their farms,” he said.
UK prices remain strong, beef supplies across Europe are tight and indications are for further tightening of supplies here and in our key markets in the coming weeks and months.
He said factories and Bord Bia must do more to ensure farmers production costs are fully reflected in beef prices.
“These are the some of the same farmers who will incur significant cuts in their Basic Payments putting the viability of these production systems under threat through a combination of processor and supermarket power, market failures and EU farm policy direction,” he said.
He said as it stands the viability of these farms is more dependent than ever on market returns and factories can and must do more in this space by ensuring beef prices reflect the costs farmers have incurred in finishing cattle in sheds.