Factories Undermining Sheep Sector With Attempted Price Cuts

Sheep in Wicklow

IFA Sheep chair Adrian Gallagher has hit out at factories for attempting to undermine the sheep trade.

He said spring lamb numbers are still tight on the ground and buying is still taking place for the important of Eid ul – Adha festival in mid-June.

“The level of cuts attempted by factories runs the risk of undermining the trade in our key export markets and sets the sector on a very dangerous path for the remainder of the year,” he said.

The IFA sheep chair said factories here are trying to drag the price down in a manner that’s way ahead of the direction of travel of prices in our key markets over the past few weeks. This is unacceptable and must stop.

Adrian Gallagher called on factories to be responsible in their pricing of lambs and hoggets, and to stand firm in the market place to maintain prices to sheep farmers.

He said supplies of sheep meat produced in the EU and the UK will be down this year.  Factories must stand firm and maximise returns from the market place for sheep farmers.

He also hit out at supermarkets in some of our markets for using cheap, chilled and frozen imported sheep meat to undermine prices to local suppliers.

“Sheep farming is a low-income vulnerable sector carried out to the highest environmental standards on farms.  Supermarkets cannot on the one hand look to promote their green credentials while on the other using cheap imports to undermine the viability of local producers,” he said.

Adrian Gallagher said factories must stand firm with these supermarkets and not engage in a race to the bottom on price.

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