Current weight and price pressure on lambs have left hogget finishers very frustrated, according to IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey.

This is a time of year when finishers would be expecting prices to kick on to reflect the much higher costs being encountered by producers, he said.

At the moment factories are paying €4.70-4.75/kg up to 22-22.5kg, with a number of plants imposing maximum cut off payments, he added.

Lynskey believes individual producers are negotiating deals depending on the type and quality of lamb offered.

Factories need to adopt a more responsible and longer term approach to ensure the continued supply of quality assured lamb out of season to meet their retail requirements on a full year round basis, he said.

It is very much in the interest of meat plants and the broader sheep sector that hogget finishers have a strong viable business.

Recently, the IFA National Sheep Chairman said the approach from some of the main lamb factories in applying an across the board clipping charge on all sheep being processed is very negative and wrong.

The IFA has raised this issue with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and requested Minister Creed to call the factories to order on the issue, he said.

The imposing of these charges represents a major setback to the Departments efforts to advance a clean livestock policy in the sheep sector, he added.

The IFA has recently been working with the Department and Meat Industry Ireland on the clean livestock policy for sheep.

But recently the association’s representatives have decided to withdraw from these discussions due to the factories deciding to impose these clipping charges.

Meanwhile, the IFA met with French representatives from Interbev, together with Bord Bia, last week in Brussels to discuss the current difficulties facing the market.

During the trip, the Irish delegation also met with the EU Commission to speak about proposals to increase EU promotional funding for lamb.