ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham is urging farmers to bargain hard for their cattle and not to accept €3.60/kg for steers and heifers.
He said that prices are still languishing way behind where they should be. “We had every expectation that prices would pick up significantly in the new year, but factories are continuing to torture beef farmers with the slow pace of progress.”
“Factories are looking for cattle so the advice to farmers is to get tough on what they will accept,” he said.
“It’s beggars’ belief why the meat industry here is so hell-bent on dragging out any meaningful price increases and treating beef farmers with utter contempt, but that is what they are doing.”
“Farmers have been haemorrhaging money and for that to stop we need to see a more rapid rate of price increases and for prices to move above €4/kg in the short term.”
He said that with supplies not as plentiful as factories would have hoped for in January, the scope is there to bargain hard.
“30-months should also not be an issue as most cattle are either well under at present or have gone passed it already.”
Graham believes there is absolutely no justification for Irish beef prices remaining in the doldrums at a time when markets all over the globe are powering ahead, helped by demand from China for animal protein.