Food outlet closures ‘can’t be used as an excuse for beef price cuts’

Beef processors have been called on to not use the closures of food outlets as a reason to reduce beef prices “below their already unsustainable level”.

Reacting to the announcement of closures by McDonald’s and Supermac’s, Thomas Duffy, president of Macra na Feirme, said that there is “no justification for a reduction on beef price at all”.

Duffy attributed this to the demand from supermarkets for meat products, despite the loss of demand from the closure of Supermac’s and McDonald’s.

The announcements by Supermac’s and McDonald’s come as a hit to demand for lower grade beef used in mincing products.

“Indications of a reduction in demand for food services due to reduced demand by restaurants have been observed for the past few weeks by both meat processors and those in additional food processing sectors. This has given the industry time to adapt, leaving no additional justification for price drops,” Duffy highlighted.

There is also a demand for home cooking produce, according to John Keane, Macra’s agricultural affairs chairperson.

“That will mean a change in demand for beef types, but no less demand for top-quality Irish beef,” Keane believes.

By supermarkets’ own research, the Irish consumer is more likely to purchase more expensive products such as steak and higher-priced cuts.

“Farmers are struggling themselves due to an extremely wet spring and the anxiety about labour replacement should they become ill themselves, and cannot tolerate another price cut,” Keane noted.

“These announcements cannot be another justification in threatening an already stressed sector,” he concluded.

MII

Yesterday, Monday, March 23, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) said that the meat industry in Ireland is experiencing “major disruption to normal trading conditions”.

According to MII, the food service channel accounts for over 30% of Irish beef exports, while also being an important market for other meat products from Ireland.

However, this market has “effectively been shut down”, with orders ceasing, MII said.

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