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HomeBeefFarmers with ‘supermarket-suitable’ cattle told to shop around between factories
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Farmers with ‘supermarket-suitable’ cattle told to shop around between factories

Farmers with ‘supermarket-suitable’ cattle have been told there may be value in “shopping around between factories for best prices”.

That is according to chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, Des Morrison. He said that in-spec Herefords and Angus cattle with a deadweight of between 260kgs and 340kgs are currently in demand.

Factories, he added, were under pressure from their supermarket customers. Morrison said that he is certain that premium flat-rate deals are being negotiated off-grid. He understands processors are paying “significantly more” than normal quoted prices.

He urged farmers to go past their usual agents or factories and seek out those factories actively trying to fill a market that was certainly there.

‘Profiteering ‘off the backs’ of farmer-suppliers

The ICMSA livestock chairperson said that he thought that, in general, factories were taking advantage of the BGDP and other factors to drop prices, particularly for cows.

He cited the fact that numbers looked generally unchanged as evidence that it was the factories exerting downward price pressure.

“There’s no evidence of an increase in numbers proportionate to the downward pressure on prices, so that looks as if it’s the factories just pushing price down for cows ‘off their own bat’.”

“This is another example of processors profiteering ‘off the backs’ of their farmer-suppliers. It highlights the fact that we have to get away from a set-up that completely gives control to them. That will mean – it has to mean – getting away from the grid”, he added.

“We know the type of cattle supermarkets are looking for and want the factories to source and supply for them.”

That is why we’re saying to farmers with in-spec animals that there’s a great deal of competition right now for them. Farmers should actively seek the best prices”, he concluded.

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