‘Farmers don’t need beef talks to know they are due a price rise’ – Cullinan

Irish beef processors have all been called on to increase cattle prices paid to Irish farmers “with immediate effect”.

Presidential candidate in the ongoing Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) elections, Tim Cullinan, has this evening said: “Days of beef talks are not necessary in order for factories to deliver overdue cattle price increases to farmers.

“We don’t need beef talks to know that beef farmers are entitled to cattle price increases,” he stressed.

The Co. Tipperary pig farmer continued: “The time for talking about the changing global market conditions is long gone. It’s now time for factories to start paying long overdue cattle price increases without delay.

Beef farmers in Ireland are incurring losses of €6 million a week, while cattle prices are increasing in key EU export markets and in the UK.

“It’s outrageous to hear MII [Meat Industry Ireland] out today talking about green shoots emerging, when we have seen upward movement of cattle prices in the EU and the UK for the past month.

“There is a price differential of €170/head between the UK and Irish cattle prices for many weeks now leading to losses totalling €20 million for beef farmers in November alone.”

Cullinan continued: “The MII cartel has been inflicting severe pain on Irish farmers with their continued strategy of keeping prices down, while cattle prices across the EU and the UK are moving upwards for the past month.

It’s time for the factories to quit their messing and to start taking cattle off the farms across the country.

Concluding, he outlined: “We also know there is a 25 million tonne deficit of protein in China at present and huge opportunities exist for beef exports to fill this deficit.”