Irish Country Meats (ICM) has confirmed it sources carcase lambs from other ROI/NI & UK locations to “support a consistent 52-week supply” for its customers.
That’s Farming contacted the meat processor after the IFA revealed that members of its sheep committee observed the delivery of a consignment of 1,100 lamb carcases, 23 tonnes of sheep meat, that left GB yesterday, to ICM in Camolin, Co. Wexford this morning (Monday, April 26th).
In a statement to That’s Farming, a spokesperson for Irish Country Meats said: “Irish Country Meats works closely with our direct farm suppliers & producer groups to market Irish lamb across the world.”
“Irish Country Meats has built a strong export retail customer base servicing over 25 markets that sits alongside our developed domestic market business.”
“To support a consistent 52-week supply for our customers, the company’s lead boning hall in Camolin, Co Wexford, sources carcase lambs from other locations in ROI/NI & UK.”
“The development of a complimentary European export retail business has helped to remove the historical exposure to a volatile export carcase trade & has demonstrated a sustained & improved return to Irish farmers,” the spokesperson concluded.
IFA national sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy, has strongly criticised the import of lamb by Irish Country Meats (ICM).
He described the action as a “clear attempt to undermine prices for sheep farmers”.
“Farmers are outraged that factories, in the same week as they attempt to pull the price of lambs and hoggets, would use imported lamb to fill orders,” Dennehy said.
“IFA has raised the issue with ICM, and we have sought an urgent meeting. There is enormous farmer anger at using imports to fill contracts while cutting the prices they are offering farmers here,” he added.
Dennehy said there is no market justification for lower prices. “This blatant attempt by factories to weakening farmers negotiating power will not be tolerated.”
He advises farmers to “dig in, sell hard and demand the full market value of lambs and hoggets”.