IFA President Tim Cullinan said there are no excuses left for factories failing to return the value of the market in beef prices.
The UK price has risen by 8c/kg in the past week, driven by supermarket demand; the anticipated re-opening of the food service sector; and extremely tight supplies of cattle.
The latest Prime Export Tracker Price is €3.87/kg, with our price lagging behind by 12c/kg at €3.75/kg.
Tim Cullinan said numbers of cattle here are not meeting demand from the market place and immediate and substantial price rises are justified.
“It’s time to call a halt to the control meat factories have exerted on beef prices over the past number of weeks and make them pay the market returns,” he said.
The value of Irish beef in comparison to our main markets has now moved well past the €4/kg base price and this must be the immediate target.
IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said the blatant profiteering of meat factories off the back of farmers in a surging beef market must stop.
He said the Minister for Agriculture has a role to ensure Irish farmers get the full market value of their animals.
“There is no point in us hearing about how high our standards are and how many markets we can access when the value of these markets is not returned to farmers,” he said.
Brendan Golden said the uncertainty of Brexit has been removed and the new import controls have been pushed out.
“Factories are offering up to €3.90/kg base price for steers and €3.95/kg for heifers. Farmers should sell hard as factories need the cattle,” he said.