Beef plan members protest at Kilbeggan
Annoyed beef farmers are protesting at meat processing plants and factories across the country for over a fortnight in the quest for a better deal.
The main message from the Beef Plan movement (BPM) from the outset, has been the urgent need for a mechanism to be put in place to ensure farmers are paid at the cost of production.
One of the posters consistently used by BPM has been one depicting where the money goes from €10 spent on beef.
Of this €10, BPM state that retailers make €5.10 for three days work, with processors receiving €2.90 for three days work, while farmers get €2 for two years work.
In 2018, cattle prices were down by 4.3%, a decline which has continued throughout 2019. This coupled with variable weather conditions, rising feed, fertiliser, maintenance, vet and overall costs, have put a huge financial strain on farmers.
According to the results of the National Farm survey for 2018, beef cattle rearing enterprises family farm incomes were down by 22% in 2018 to €8,310.
For other cattle rearing enterprises, family farm incomes were down by 10% to €14,560. To put this into perspective, the average annual income in Ireland in 2018 was €38,871.
Beef farmers deserve better.