Factory ‘excuses’ for pulling lamb prices ‘just don’t wash’

The impending bank holiday weekend has seen factories “pull prices again for no reason”, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Commenting on the move, ICSA sheep chairman Sean McNamara said:

“Lambs are still not that plentiful and with demand remaining strong at retail level the cuts this week are completely unjustified.

Time and again we see factories pulling excuses out of the bag in an attempt to explain away price cuts and it just doesn’t wash.

“Lamb is not getting any cheaper for the consumer – yet the farmer is being expected to produce it for less, just because it is a bank holiday,” the chairman said.

Raising concerns regarding behaviour towards farmers who are selling online through marts, McNamara claimed that factories “appear to be using this additional information available through online sales to see who is selling what and when, and then using it against them”.

“Farmers need to resist these tactics at all times and insist on getting paid properly,” the chairman concluded.

Hopes of Chinese beef reactivation ‘without delay’

Meanwhile, ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham has said he is hopeful the Chinese market for Irish beef can be reactivated without delay.

Reacting to the news yesterday, Wednesday, May 27, that beef exports to China have been temporarily suspended due to an atypical case of BSE, the chairman said:

“This is an atypical case of BSE so it will not impact on our progress towards the OIE’s [World Organisation for Animal Health’s] requirements around reaching negligible status for the disease. Nor are there any public health risks associated with the finding,” he said.

It is our understanding the Department of Agriculture will prepare an epidemiological report on the issue and we expect the matter to be resolved in a timely manner.

“It is imperative that we can act fast on this in order to minimise disruption.”