IFA National Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said farmers and factories need to work together to steady the beef trade at this critical time.
He said the major responsibility is with the factories not to pull prices and undermine the trade. Farmers need to avoid moving any under finished cattle.
“With orderly marketing, cattle supplies are expected to tighten over the next number of weeks and this should help steady the trade.”
IFA has put a detailed set of proposals to Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to push for supports at EU level. “IFA is demanding that all non-EU beef imports, especially South American beef imports, which fail to meet EU standards, should be suspended.”
The IFA has also requested the EU Commission to put the necessary funding in place to support farmers and keep the food supply chain operational.
Brendan Golden said IFA is working with the marts and the Department to ensure alternative and safe arrangements are put in place which would allow cattle to continue to move.
He said “While mart auctions have been closed, marts have weighing facilities and a system that provides security of payment, which are critical for farm-to-farm movements”.
The IFA Livestock leader said IFA has also being in contact with a number of the main banks emphasising the need for flexibility. IFA has made a number of proposals including that the banks would increase/extend working capital and overdraft facilities as well as lower cost loan products for farmers and allow for an interest and capital repayment break of up to six months.