IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Michael Doran said there is a growing level of anger and frustration among livestock farmers at the continuing failure of the meat factories to demand and secure a cattle price increase from the large supermarket retailers.
Michael Doran said Irish factories must take heed of the situation in France where angry French farmers are protesting against factories on cattle prices.
The IFA livestock leader said there is no evidence from the factories that they are demanding a cattle price increase from the market. He said “the factories appear very satisfied to continue to deliver beef to the retailers at loss making prices for producers. This situation is untenable and cannot continue”.
Michael Doran said winter feeders are not going to go through another year of losses. He said the time has come for the factories to stand up to the retailers and demand viable cattle prices. He said factories need to make it clear to their retail clients that they will not have beef at prices less than €3.50/kg out of sheds.
The IFA livestock leader said there is major scope for Irish beef prices to increase. He said cattle numbers in the country are down 330,000 head on last year and finished cattle supplies are going to tighten dramatically. Cattle prices across our main export markets in the UK and Europe are 25c – 60c/kg above Irish prices. World beef prices are up over 50% with Brazilian prices of €2.74/kg.
Michael Doran said there was never a better set of circumstances in terms of supply and demand for Irish factories to secure a major increase in beef prices.