The IFA is waiting until Saturday, to see where cattle prices are, and will then decide its next move on the beef crisis, after its Executive Council met yesterday (Thursday).

IFA President Eddie Downey said the Association’s Executive Board will meet on Saturday to assess the progress made on prices and decide the association’s next move then.

IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said agents will be setting prices today (Friday) for cattle to be delivered next week. He said prices are rising and he advised farmers to demand more and negotiate the full value of their cattle. He said farmers are securing 5c-10c over quoted prices in some factories and supplies are extremely tight and that factories are struggling to get numbers for the Christmas kill.

Eddie Downey said the Executive Council was satisfied that significant progress was made by the IFA at the Beef Forum on the specification issues that have bedevilled the relationship between farmers and the meat factories all year.

He also said that the mood among members of the Executive Council was one of deep frustration at the failure of the meat factories to pass back the stronger prices in our main market in the UK to farmers here.

Only an increase in price will resolve the problem, he said after the Beef Forum on Wednesday night, and said further protests could not be ruled out.