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Irish farmers call for government intervention on beef prices

Post a commentBy Aidan Fortune , 22-Aug-2017

The Irish Farmers' Association has urged government action on beef prices
The Irish Farmers' Association has urged government action on beef prices

The president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Joe Healy has called on the Minister of Agriculture Michael Creed to intervene on cuts to cattle prices. 

He said that Creed could no longer ignore major cuts in cattle prices at the meat factories, which have left beef farmers out of pocket this year.

According to the IFA, cattle prices have been cut by more than €100 per head in the last month, which has eroded any chance of profit for farmers selling cattle in the autumn, when it is peak selling time.

Healy said Minister Creed and the Department of Agriculture “have worked hard” and made considerable progress on market access issues and he could not allow factories to undermine the value of this work with unjustified beef price cuts.

He called on the Minister to insist that there was competition in the trade and that market returns were fairly passed back to farmers, as well as ensuring that market access delivered real price gains and stability to farmers.

The IFA president said market demand for beef remained strong and that cattle prices in the UK were the equivalent of €4.42/kg (including VAT) while price increases in the UK market had outpaced the changes to the sterling exchange rate over the last two months.

He added that EU cattle prices were showing signs of improving, which is to be expected at this time of year as schools prepare to return, and that there was no overhang of stock, as was the case from the EU dairy cow cull this time last year, with the demand for manufacturing beef very buoyant.

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