IFA President Joe Healy said farmers are demanding a strong and immediate increase in beef prices.
He said beef farmers have been short-changed on the price this Autumn and its high time the factories restored some confidence to the beef sector and increased prices. These were the strong messages the IFA President delivered to Meat Industry Ireland (MII) leaders at a meeting with the IFA in Dublin this week.
Joe Healy told MII that livestock farmers need to see beef prices at the factories move up to at least €4.00/kg. He said cattle farmers have come through a horrendous year with incomes on the floor and its time the meat factories stopped profiteering on the back of farmers.
He said there is rising anger among farmers with the way the factories cut beef prices this autumn and continued to hold prices down at loss-making levels, despite strong returns from our main export market in the UK.
The IFA leader said with the increased demand for the Christmas trade and the strength of the UK market, factories can pay more.
Joe Healy said cattle prices in our main export market in the UK were at £3.73/kg for R3 grade steers, which is the equivalent of €4.42/kg. He said the price gap between Irish and UK prices has now widened to €200 per head, which shows that the factories are not returning a fair market price to farmers and could pay a lot more.
He said the loss-making prices from the factories over recent weeks have inflicted serious damage on livestock farmers and the beef sector.