IFA President John Bryan said the meat factories were attacking cattle prices in an unjustified and opportunistic manner. He said the factories were guilty of compounding the bad weather problems and deliberately spreading misinformation by telling farmer suppliers they were full of stock when the facts show the weekly kill was the lowest for the year at just 23,412.
John Bryan said prices in our main export market in the UK are the equivalent of €4.50/kg incl Vat, and sterling has gained 3% against the Euro since the start of July.
The IFA President said the message from the factories to their farmer suppliers was very negative. “The factories are telling farmers they are not able to handle 24,000 cattle per week without cutting the price. This is a very serious and worrying message for the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and the beef and livestock sector, in the context of the Food Harvest 2020 Plan.”
John Bryan said Minister Coveney needs to secure the recommencement of the live export trade to Libya, Egypt and the Lebanon immediately. He said with an increase in the supply of younger cattle and the price-cutting tactics of the factories, Minister Coveney must re-open the live trade to these markets and secure price competition and alternative market outlets.