Speaking at the IFA Beef meeting in Portlaoise tonight attended by over 300 people, IFA President Tim Cullinan said that the farmers were being short-changed by €6m a week based on the Bord Bia beef price tracker.
“The Bord Bia tracker has brought more transparency to beef price and we can now see that Irish prices are at least 50c behind the export benchmark price. This is costing beef farmers at least €6m a week,” he said.
“This is totally unacceptable and it’s an appalling way for processors to be treating their customers,” he said.
“We need the office of Fairness and Transparency in the Food Supply Chain to be established as a matter of urgency, and it must have real teeth,” he said.
IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden outlined his frustration with the widening gap between Irish beef prices and UK/European prices which is estimated to be at its highest level since 2010.
“It is clear that our processors are not paying the price the market justifies and further eroding beef farmers’ incomes,” he said.
“This comes on top of a CAP reform which hit beef farmers very severely,” he said.
Brendan Golden said the draft Food Vision interim report being developed for the sector is totally focussed on reducing production.
“There are no proposals to ensure we have viable beef sector for the years ahead. All the signals to young people are negative. The Minister needs to front up and now tell us what plans he has for the sector,” he said.
The meeting which took place in the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise and was also addressed by Aidan Murray from Teagasc, Joe Burke from Bord Bia and Paul Nolan from Dawn Meats. The meeting was Chaired by IFA’s South Leinster Chairman Francie Gorman.