Calls have been made for the competition authority to explain to farmers why cattle quotes for the following week are “only available from 4:00pm every Friday”.

The chairman of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association’s (ICSA’s) Beef Committee, Edmund Graham, raised the question: “Why is it that, across the board, quotes for cattle are being given at a uniform time?”

He noted: “We have markets for our beef right around the world and different processors supplying those markets.

Surely, contracts to sell beef to supermarkets are not negotiated at 3:00pm on a Friday, so why are farmers kept in the dark until 4:00pm?

Concluding, Graham reiterated: “Why is it that all factories have exactly the same reluctance to give a straight answer to a straight question?”

ICSA’s MEP hustings

In other ICSA news, the lobby group has announced it is organising an open farmer meeting featuring candidates in the upcoming European elections from the Ireland South constituency.

Set to take place on Tuesday next, May 14, the hustings will be held in the Charleville Park Hotel, Charleville, Co. Cork, and will kick off at 8:00pm.

Speaking ahead of the event, ICSA vice president for Munster Dermot Kelleher said: “The European Parliament plays an ever-increasing role in making the key decisions affecting farming.”

Candidates confirmed for the hustings include: Liadh Ní Riada MEP; Billy Kelleher; Sheila Nunan; Grace O’Sullivan; Liam Minehan; Breda Gardner; Diarmaid O’Flynn; and Walter Ryan Purcell.

“On Tuesday night you will have the opportunity to grill your MEP candidates on the farming and rural issues that matter most.

“The candidates are eager to hear your concerns, so I would encourage everyone to come along and hear what they have to say before casting your vote,” Kelleher said.

All are welcome to attend, according to the organisation.

For those interested, further enquiries can be made by calling the ICSA headquarters in Portlaoise on: 057-8662120.