Sheep farmers must “hold the line” at a minimum of €7.00/kg.
That is the message ICSA sheep chair, Sean McNamara, is conveying to sheep farmers.
He stated that “farmers should not accept any less than €7.00/kg for hoggets over the coming weeks”.
McNamara said factories are “doing everything” in their power to “chip away” at prices.
Therefore, he said farmers must do “everything in their power” to resist them.
“As sheep farmers, our cost of production is upwards of €7.00/kg and rising all the time, so we are only demanding what is fair.”
“It is imperative that we hold the line at €7.00/kg at the very minimum.”
“We know the demand is there when we see factory agents heading to the marts and buying up all around them.”
He stated that ewe lambs, in particular, are making €10-€15/hd more in marts than they are making in factories.
“We must remember all this happening as factories continue to bring in truckloads of live lambs – as well as lamb in carcase form – from the north and elsewhere.”
“This is an on-going practice and can only be described as a cynical attempt to weaken the negotiating position of local suppliers.”
“This is what we are up against and why we all must hold firm on prices when selling our stock that we have worked so hard to produce.”
Penalising carcasses of 25kgs and above
Mr McNamara was also critical of factories “heavily” penalising carcases of 25kg and above.
The ICSA has received reports of a “very heavy-handed” cut-off point of €135.00/hd on carcase weights of 25kg and over.
“At €7.00/kg, these lambs should be hitting the €161.00 mark with a 23kg weight limit,” he said.
“That is a €26 hit that no sheep farmer can afford. Anyone with heavier lambs would be well advised to go to the mart instead,” he concluded.