IFA President Eddie Downey and an IFA delegation have met with Meat Industry Ireland and senior meat factories representatives in Dublin on the difficulties for bull beef producers. After the meeting, Eddie Downey said IFA made it very clear that prices must stabilise and the bull kill must increase over the coming weeks to help alleviate the difficulties.
Eddie Downey said, “IFA outlined to the factories that there is real frustration among beef finishers with the way bull beef prices have been cut in the last five weeks, and that producers are finding it difficult to get bulls killed”. He said nobody was left in any doubt that prices must be stabilised immediately and bulls must be killed before any weight or age restrictions are applied. In addition he said prices and deals must be honoured and any delay in getting cattle killed cannot result in a price cut.
The IFA President said factories have a real responsibility to resolve this problem and it must be resolved quickly. He warned that attempts by any factory to take advantage of the current difficulties would not be tolerated.
IFA Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said farmers with bulls are extremely annoyed with the factories and particularly the way they have cut the prices over the last five weeks. He said some feeders are struggling to get bulls killed and are being pushed back and back by the meat plants.
The IFA Livestock leader told the meat factories that there are serious implications for the beef sector going forward from this episode. He said farmers will be very reluctant to keep calves or weanlings where the specification for the finished bull is such that it is near impossible for anybody to make a margin other than the processor and retailer. In addition he said this has major implications for the agricultural sector and Food Harvest 2020.