ICSA calls for factory accountability over beef price cuts

With quotes being pulled this week by factories – prices of €3.70-3.75/kg offered by some processors for steers and €3.75/kg for heifers have resulted in a shock to many farmers due to the sudden price cuts.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) beef chair Edmund Graham has stated there is no logical reason for beef quotes being slashed to €3.70/kg this week and is seeking accountability. He said:

“Again, we are seeing factories moving in unison to cut prices, and in many cases, cut back to a three-day week. Farmers are entitled to an explanation as to what is going on, and factories must be held to account,” according to Graham.

Beef price drop

“Demand for beef remains high and sterling rates are favourable, yet many farmers are reporting difficulties booking cattle in for slaughter and those that do get slots are being hammered on price.

“It makes no sense, and again we are seeing winter finishers bearing the brunt.

“They are being left to shoulder the full cost of feeding cattle over the winter which is completely unsustainable and cannot be allowed to continue.”

Accountability

Graham added:

“It is clear the factories are continuing to run rings around the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), which has proven itself to be completely ineffective in dealing with the beef industry.

If the promised food ombudsman is to do what the CCPC cannot, it is critical they are given the necessary powers to do so, with whatever legislation is necessary.

“Farmers will not stand for a food ombudsman that cannot take on the processors and regulate the whole beef sector,” he concluded.