According to the ICSA, reports have emerged of factory agents being instructed not to buy lambs at marts this week.
Its sheep chair, Sean Sean McNamara, has said factories are “playing with fire” if allegations are true.
“ICSA has been getting reports that agents around the country are under orders not to buy lambs at marts over the next week. Tactics like this are underhanded in the extreme and, if true, are completely anti-competitive,” he said.
“With supplies remaining tight, it is quite possible that processors are doing this in an attempt to funnel lambs directly into the factories as cheaply as possible and to the detriment of farmers.”
“This is disgraceful as it leaves producers in a much-weakened position, with no option but to accept what is on offer from the factories.”
The said ICSA is resolute that farmers must have the freedom to sell lambs at marts. However, he stressed that this is a freedom that “cannot be trampled on”.
“Marts are so important when it comes to determining what is achievable for stock. Interfering with that process is nothing short of unscrupulous.”
“ICSA will continue to monitor the situation over the coming week. We will not stand by if evidence of scheming at this level emerges,” McNamara concluded.
Meat processor falls victim to cyber-attack
Meanwhile, across the waters, one of the world’s largest meat processors has fallen victim to a cyber-attack.
According to BeefCentral, the company has temporarily suspended its Australian operations, cancelling beef and lamb kills across Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.
JBS Australia chief executive officer, Brent Eastwood, confirmed the news to BeefCentral. However, he told the publication that he is unable to reveal how long the Australian stoppage may last.
The attackers targetted its global IT systems, and the firm is still assessing the attack’s impact and potential implications.