Cahill raises ‘highly questionable’ beef price trends in Dáil

Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill addressed the Dáil today (Thursday, February 11) on what he described as “highly questionable trends” on the prices for cattle paid by beef processors.

Cahill, the chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, told the Dáil that prices offered to farmers and primary producers have fallen by 15c/kg in recent weeks.

This was, according to Cahill, despite “the fact that all market indications suggest prices should be doing the opposite and rising at the moment”.

He called for the Beef Market Taskforce to “operate as intended and provide price transparency for producers”.

“We established the beef taskforce to address the crisis in the beef industry. One of the key demands of stakeholders was that there would be price transparency,” the Tipperary TD said.

He added: “In the last two weeks, meat processors have dropped prices by 15c, while all market indicators are saying that prices should be on an upward trend.

Recent price trends do not add up.

“The beef forum was established to provide transparency. I am demanding we see this transparency now. Let us now use the beef taskforce for its intended purpose,” Cahill said after his contribution in the Dáil.

Cahill is the second TD to raise this issue today, following comments from independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

Fitzmaurice claimed earlier: “The market reasoning given so far to explain away the cut has been wholly unsatisfactory. Supplies of finished cattle are tight at present and some factories are only killing on three days of the week.

The Roscommon-Galway TD also called for the Beef Market Taskforce to be called back “as a matter of urgency”.