Beef factories have been urged to restore prices to viable levels by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The organisation has been in contact with the senior management in the main beef factory groups and made it clear that beef price cuts will not be tolerated, according to IFA livestock chairman Angus Woods.

Commenting, Woods said farmer confidence is on the floor and the factories have to immediately stop the price cuts, which are exploiting a very difficult market situation.

He said beef farmers are very angry with what they see as the factories’ refusal to support beef farmers at this difficult time.

This is not only undermining the confidence of beef and suckler farmers at a critical time for the future of the sector, it is also undermining prices and the value of our beef in the marketplace.

“This drive to the bottom on price is inflicting severe financial hardship on farmers and sending the wrong signal to the marketplace, undermining the value of our product and our production standards,” Woods added.

“This week, the base price for steers is €3.60 and €3.70 for heifers. Some factories are attempting to quote lower prices, but are having to pay more than the quotes.”

Farmers with quality prime cattle are strongly resisting the price cuts and insisting that they get more than the loss-making quoted price, Woods concluded.