Beef price: ’40c/kg below this week last year – consistently below cost of production’

“Urgent action is required to save the beef industry” in light of beef farmers “supplying cattle to processors – and subsequently retailers – at a price that is consistently below the cost of production”.

That’s according to the Beef Plan Movement, which said that the ‘buck stops’ with the processors and retailers.

The group is demanding “an immediate increase in the base price for beef” after its submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine yesterday, Tuesday, April 16.

The committee heard from Beef Plan representatives Eamon Corley, Hugh Doyle and Eoin Donnelly.

A statement from the movement noted that at this time of year, supply traditionally starts to tighten and it is incumbent on the processors to “listen to their suppliers”.

Sustainability is quoted as a cornerstone of the beef industry by the various stakeholders, including Bord Bia; however, the current price is unsustainable, the statement added.

“The current price is 40c/kg below this week last year which equates to €140 on a 350kg carcass. No farmer can afford this price differential year to year.”

At the Oireachtas hearing, chairman of the Beef Plan Movement’s western region Eoin Donnelly said: “It was indicated that beef is being sold as a loss leader by retailers.

“The fact that the sector which bears the brunt of this are farmers is not acceptable, and is in direct contrast to fair trade principles,” he concluded.