ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has attacked Tesco for undermining premium spring lamb producers by offloading the product at unsustainably low prices in its stores.
“Tesco is currently selling legs of spring lamb at a ridiculously low price of €8.69/kg,” fumed Mr Brooks, before pointing out that the move was below cost selling.
“This will have the effect of putting farmers out of business and ICSA is calling for this practice to stop immediately.
“Farmers need at least €7/kg for high cost early spring lamb systems and allowing for processing costs, it is clear that a retail price of €8.69/kg is unsustainable.
“Meanwhile, retailers seem to have no problem getting €33/kg for farmed salmon.”
Mr Brooks went on to say that spring lamb needed to be marketed as a premium product. “Tesco needs to understand that early lamb production is a complex and high cost system,” he added.
“Spring lamb producers excelled as usual.
“They carefully planned lambing dates and sale dates, cared for their flock pre and post lambing at a time of year when you have long winter nights and feed costs are at a maximum, in order to have a premium product ready for Easter and early summer.”