“Demand for lamb is high this week, with prices of €4.90 easily achievable.”

That’s the message from the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Sean McNamara, the association’s chairperson, said: “I would encourage farmers to take advantage of this and push for better prices.”

McNamara wanted to reassure farmers that there is no obstacle to putting lambs into factories.

“I have discussed this matter with protest organisers and have been assured that those local farmers wishing to supply lambs to factories are free to do so,” he said.

McNamara recently led a successful ICSA protest at Kepak Athleague off the back of “savage price cuts imposed by processors”.

“Since our protest, we have been able to sustain the pressure on factories on a weekly basis. That pressure has resulted in those price cuts being stopped,” he highlighted.

We’re now at €4.90-5.00/kg for lamb and, while it’s still not enough, don’t accept anything less.

This week has seen an increase, with lamb prices rising 5c/kg.

“We need to see factories moving on weight limits. Normally, at this time of year, weights have increased to at least 21.5kg, but factories have been unfairly holding out on adjusting these limits,” he added.

[Our] advice to farmers is not to kill light lambs [those under 17kg dead-weight] to suit the French trade, as they are currently worth more as stores in the mart.

“This could be the best week to kill your lambs for a while, so I would encourage farmers to take this chance to secure a good price for your animals,” he concluded.