Talks on the beef crisis must resume urgently and the unsustainably low beef price must be discussed, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Speaking today, Wednesday, September 4, ICSA president Edmond Phelan called for an immediate resumption of talks on the issue.

“We cannot ignore the elephant in the room any longer – which is the fact that current beef price means that every system of beef farming is losing money,” Phelan said.

“Teagasc has confirmed this in the past 24 hours, outlining horrendous losses regardless of efficiency.

This is a key reason for protests, and the ICSA is now calling on meat factories to walk away from the courts.

“We are asking protesters to reciprocate by allowing space for real talks to resume,” Phelan added.

Current beef price leaves all suckling systems loss-making

Last night, Tuesday, September 3, Teagasc and the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) held a beef seminar in Co. Kilkenny.

The message from this event was clear – farmers need to “batten down the hatches”, as one speaker explained, and “cut costs wherever possible”.

This message was reiterated by Teagasc’s head of drystock knowledge transfer Pearse Kelly, who outlined that all suckling systems – based on the current beef price of €3.50/kg available at the factory gate – will be loss-making.