The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) has said that the reduction in the quoted price for lambs by meat processors is “exceptionally damaging and unjustified”.
INHFA national vice-president Micheal McDonnell claimed that the decision has the potential to create long-term damage for the sector.
He said that meat processors need to act in the best interests of the industry which they rely on.
The INHFA vice-president noted that farmers have seen input costs soar over the past year, with no end in sight.
McDonnell stressed that it is “vital that the market returns reflect this new reality in the price paid to farmers”.
Agriland previously reported that factories are blaming difficulty in moving product for the reduction in lamb prices.
The INHFA vice-president also highlighted a potential problem with a busy store trade in the autumn.
“What we are seeing on the ground is farmer finishers that buy those lambs want them earlier so they can finish off grass at the back end to save on meal costs.
“This could lead to a huge issue come September and October when the big numbers start to come out,” he said.
“This is all the more reason for a stable factory price as the minimum requirement to instill confidence in the overall trade and to guarantee continuity of supply to these factories going into the winter,” McDonnell commented.
“Farmers have always shown resilience but even the most resilient farmer can’t keep going when the figures don’t add up.
“With a wool price that is still quite deflated and rising input costs it is essential for the future of the industry that the market returns are sufficient and reflective of all input and labour costs,” he added.
The INHFA vice-president demanded that meat factories reinstate the price given in early June and commit to maintain these prices through this autumn and winter.