MII on lamb prices: ‘Disrupting processing will not help the situation’

Lamb prices are “reflective of what is happening in the market” and “disruption of processing will not help the situation”, according to Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

Issuing a statement today, Monday, July 1, in response to ongoing farmer unrest over current pricing, the Ibec industry representative group said:

“Continued weaker demand for lamb in key continental markets due to lower consumption levels, coupled with very competitively priced UK lamb in the marketplace, is behind the deterioration of lamb prices here in recent weeks.

Processors understand the frustration of farmers with these price falls – but it is reflective of what is happening in the market.

“While market returns are disappointing at present, disruption of processing operations will not help the situation,” the MII statement concluded.

ICSA protest

The statement comes following this morning’s Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) protest outside Kepak Athleague, Co. Roscommon, where the association blocked lamb access to the plant.

Speaking to AgriLand this morning, Monday, July 1, ICSA sheep chairman Sean McNamara outlined that his organisation will continue to block lamb access to the plant until prices improve to where they had been.

There’s a big crowd with us today; we’re blocking all access for lambs coming in to Kepak.

Following demonstrations lasting more than 24 hours, a delegation of ICSA representatives has entered the plant for talks with management.

While the block has been lifted temporarily, protesters remain outside pending the result of the discussions.