The ICSA has said that beef producers “urgently” require €6.00/kg in light of “skyrocketing” input costs.
The organisation’s beef chair Edmund Graham has accused processors of continuing to adopt a stance of “can pay more – won’t pay more”.
He said this is despite prices falling “well behind” European averages.
“Last, week, ICSA took a position that beef needed to be at the €6/kg mark to cover the escalating cost of production amidst spiralling input costs.”
“This week, we have seen prices equivalent to €5.90-€6/kg being paid in the marts by factory agents.”
“If processors can pay that at the marts, then there is no excuse for failing to do the same at the factory gate,” he said.
He said it is “unconscionable” that Irish beef should be over 10c back on our European counterparts.
Bord Bia’s market tracker reveals that for last week the EU average stood at €4.53, while he said the average price here was €4.41.
“This is shocking when you consider how much our costs have increased and when there is evidence that factories can – and are – paying substantially more in the marts.”
Factory agents active in marts
ICSA has been collating data from marts around the country over the past week.
It has “time and time” again seen stock in the 600+kg region making upwards of €1,800.
“We have seen sales of 625kg animals bought for €2,000 apiece; sales of 665kg stock for €2,040; 700kg animals going for €2,110 and a 725kg animal making over €2,170.
“Even at conservative kill-out percentages, you are hitting the €6/kg mark,” Graham argued.
He said that is what beef is worth to them and what processors as “willing to stump up” at marts.
He said these prices must transfer across the factory gate and stressed that farmers need to “keep demanding” higher prices.
“The evidence is there that processors can give more; it is clear that they are choosing to walk all over beef farmers, which is shameful, particularly now when our costs have risen so steeply,” he claimed.