At a meeting in Dublin recently, IFA President John Bryan, left the meat factories in no doubt about the anger among cattle farmers at the way in which beef prices were cut over recent weeks and the need for a price increase.
With the change in the weather, the IFA president warned that factories were finding it extremely difficult to get cattle and were therefore having to pay higher prices. “Farmers are very busy on the ground and are not prepared to part with stock at quoted prices,” he added. “A number of factories have increased their kill days and also increased the price up to €3.90/kg base to get steers. Heifer prices are also rising because of very tight supplies and some plants have paid a base of €4.10/kg this week and flat prices of €4.20/kg have been paid.”
IFA’s National Livestock Chairman, Henrey Burns said the factories had no argument with the Bord Bia market prices put forward by IFA to show that Irish cattle prices could increase. “The facts speak for themselves and Irish prices can rise based on UK prices of €4.50-€4.60/kg and EU prices of over €4/kg and rising,” he fumed. “Factories are no longer able to buy cattle at the quoted prices and farmers who are digging in, are getting 5-10c/kg more.”