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Opinion: Fury as sheep prices are back €1/kg

In this article, ICSA sheep chair, Sean McNamara, expresses outrage over 2023 sheep prices.

There is no legitimate reason why sheep prices are currently €1/kg behind where they were at this time last year.

I am furious, and every sheep farmer I know is furious. Over the last year, our costs have gone through the roof, yet the meat factories somehow think it is acceptable to pay us significantly less than this time last year. It is an absolute disgrace.

On January 5th, 2022, we were getting €7.30/kg on average; now, the average is €6.30/kg.

How are sheep farmers expected to survive when the price we are getting paid bears no reflection on what it actually costs to produce the product?

Beef prices are ahead of where they were this time last year; all we are looking for is a bit of fair play for sheep farmers.

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Rumblings of further price cuts for next week are causing even more worry and anger.

Sheep farmers are already in a precarious position, and factories threatening to pull prices even more next week just makes the situation even worse.

There is true value in having a vibrant sheep sector for economic and environmental reasons, and this needs to be recognised. The sector needs to be supported, not decimated.

ICSA election

Last month, That’s Farming reported that the two candidates in the ICSA presidential election race, Dermot Kelleher and Sean McNamara, have agreed to a power-sharing agreement for the organisation’s leadership for the next two years.

The arrangement comes following a tie at last night’s ICSA presidential election.

The two candidates agreed to “work together in the best interest of farmers and the ICSA”.

The agreement will see Dermot Kelleher remain as president for the next year, while Sean McNamara will take up the office in 2024.

McNamara will also assume a position on ICSA’s management committee in the new year.

Read more on this news article.

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