Irish Farmers Association (IFA) national livestock chairman Henry Burns has told AgriLand that protests will be held by members of the organisation at a number of meat plants throughout the country tomorrow, Wednesday 5 February.

“We thought that we had reached agreement with the plants to the effect that they would hold young bull prices at last week’s prices,” he added.

“But they have gone and dropped farmer quotes by a further 10 cent per kilo since the beginning of this week. We were very angry at the 40 to 50 cent per kilo drop in bull prices, which the plants have foisted on farmers since the beginning of the year.

“But this week’s news is the last straw. The reality is that changes in exchange rates between the euro and sterling would more than make up for any issues regarding clams that bulls are not in spec.”

Burns went on to point out that the IFA had received strong indications that some of the meat plants are about to reduce the prices they pay for heifers.

“This is a truly ridiculous scenario,” he stressed.

“Heifers going to the UK market meet the full specification requirements of the British supermarkets. And we will not tolerate any attempts by the plants to reduce the prices paid for these animals.

Burns further confirmed that the IFA will be going public with its protest plans later today. However, managers of the largest plants in Ireland can expect to have large numbers of angry farmers gathering outside their premises tomorrow.