ICSA sheep chair, Sean McNamara, has said this week’s price cuts are yet another blow for sheep farmers, having been excluded from any Covid-19 support packages thus far.
He stressed that markets have been impacted, wool prices are “below the floor” and processors are continuing to “ignore the real costs associated with producing lambs and keep slashing prices”.
“The bad news just keeps coming for sheep farmers. On Monday, quotes were coming in at €5.90/kg. By Tuesday, they were at €5.75/kg and today the best I’m hearing is €5.40/kg.”
“The simple fact is it costs money to rear lambs to the highest specifications that, and those costs are growing.” the sheep chair added.
“We cannot continue with a situation whereby on a Monday you might have some chance to cover your costs but by Thursday, you haven’t a hope.”
“Too many lambs are still coming in from the UK and the north and it’s a big part of the problem.”
He said that there is no level playing pitch when local sheep farmers are having to compete with lambs brought in from elsewhere and “wreak havoc” on prices.
Family farm support package
McNamara reiterated his call for a family farm support package that, he explained, would assist all family farms with the fallout from Covid-19.
“Sheep farmers were not excluded from the economic impact of Covid-19 and should not be excluded from any compensation measures,” he concluded.