Good Herdsmen and Slaney Meats have issued a €5.30/kg forward price guarantee to organic beef producers.
That is according to ICSA organics chair, Fergal Byrne, who said this move would provide reassurance to organic farmers facing “an expensive winter of feeding”.
He outlined that the companies above have set a price structure for the next ten weeks.
Organic beef prices
“While quotes for this week are coming in at €5.10/kg, the base price will be a guaranteed €5.30/kg in the first week of February 2022.”
“ICSA understands that the price guarantee is likely to be extended into early June with sources predicting prices of around the €5.60/kg mark throughout the spring and into the early summer.”
“However, it is important to note that this price is inclusive of the quality assured bonus.”
Payment structure: Organic beef prices
Byrne said he was “not fully satisfied” with the grid payment structure for organic cattle.
“The positive is that there is now a built-in bonus for U grade cattle.”
“However, it is capped at +18c/kg compared to a top grid price of +24c/kg for U+ cattle in the conventional grid.”
He said the cuts for O grade cattle, in some instances, are more severe than on the conventional grid.
“It must be remembered, however, that the cost of feeding organic cattle is significantly higher than the cost of feeding commercial cattle.”
“There is always the danger that with input costs continuing to rise rapidly, we still may not be able to get a decent return.”
“The price of organic ration is a real issue for winter finishing of organic cattle. This is going to get worse before it gets better.”
The ICSA rep was clear that efforts to secure new market opportunities for organic beef must be intensified to ensure there are enough markets out there for what the country is producing.
“Government policy is to increase the levels of organic production here significantly.”
“This is all well and good – but only if we have the markets. This is going to take a considerable effort.”
“The key issue is how much money are meat factories prepared to spend on growing EU markets for organic beef, how much resources are Bord Bia going to employ and can this lead to a substantial premium price for organic beef and lamb?”