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”.
According to the farm group, 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.
“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.
Lambs to €8.90/kg in France
The IFA chairman said market conditions are strong, and demand will increase further as we approach the end of Ramadan in mid-May.
“Attempts by factories to undermine the positive trade for Irish sheepmeat by importing lamb will not be tolerated by farmers.”
He said prices in the UK and the EU had increased further. The imported lamb prices in France’s Rungis market rose to €8.90/kg in the latest weekly report, clearly showing the strength of demand for lamb and the prices available in the marketplace.
Dennehy said there is no market justification for lower prices. “This blatant attempt by factories to weakening farmers negotiating power will not be tolerated.”
“Farmers should dig in, sell hard, and demand the full market value of lambs and hoggets,” he concluded.
Strong supermarket performance, tight supplies, and reduced volumes of imported lamb in Ireland’s key markets are driving the sheep trade in April 2021.
That is according to IFA sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy, who said market conditions for sheep meat are “favourable”.
Last week, he reported that factories are quoting between €7.70 to €8.00/kg for hoggets. Meanwhile, he said spring lambs are generally selling to €8.30/kg, with “higher deals available and concessions on weights”.
On the other hand, cull ewes are ranging from €3.10/kg to €3.50/kg.