IFA National Livestock Chair Brendan Golden said the continued downward pressure applied by factories on beef prices in recent weeks is unacceptable and must stop.
“The latest prime export benchmark price has now opened up a gap of 25c/kg with the prime Irish composite price and factories must move to close this gap immediately,” Brendan Golden said.
“Prices in our key export markets have shown some signs of stabilizing and in cases strengthening in the past week and its clear factories are not returning prices the market justifies further eroding farmers’ incomes,” he added.
Input costs on beef farms are forecasted to increase a further 3% in 2023 up following a 28% increase in 2022. Beef finishers do not have the capacity to absorb these cost increases.
“Farmers are getting increasingly frustrated with meat processors. They are also very disappointed at the failure of our Agricultural Minister and Government to put meaningful supports in place for the extremely vulnerable suckler and beef sectors,” he said.
“IFA have consistently called for direct supports to be increased €300/suckler cow and €100/head cattle rearing and finishing payment, but the Minister has failed to provide this,” the IFA National Livestock Chair stated.
IFA have also continued to highlight their concerns on the new National Beef welfare scheme. ‘This scheme is not fit for purposes and must be revisited as a matter of urgency, and aligned with the Beep-s scheme its replacing in terms of payment levels and qualifying criteria.
“There is real concern for the sector in the coming months and farmers’ patience is wearing thin on the lack of support from factories and Government,” Brendan Golden concluded.