Macra President Thomas Duffy (front centre)
Macra na Feirme has called for processors to not use the shift in consumer demand as an excuse to pull beef prices below their already unsustainable level.
“Supermacs and McDonalds may be a massive user of beef for burgers and other products, but supermarkets are seeing unprecedented demand for products including meat products, so there is no justification for a reduction in beef price at all” said Macra President Thomas Duffy.
The announcements by Supermacs and McDonalds come as a hit to demand for lower grade beef used in mincing products. Indications of a reduction in demand for food services due to reduced demand by restaurants have been observed for the past few weeks by both meat processors and those in additional food processing sectors. This, Macra say, has given the industry time to adapt leaving no additional justification for price drops.
“People are at home, they are cooking, they are demanding Irish beef for cooking. That will mean a change in demand for beef types but no less demand for top quality Irish beef” added Agricultural Affairs Chairman John Keane.
By supermarkets’ own research, the Irish consumer is more likely to purchase more expensive products such as steak and higher priced cuts, Macra state. They have noted that farmers are struggling themselves due to an extremely wet spring and the anxiety about labour replacement should they become ill themselves and therefore cannot tolerate another price cut.
"These announcements cannot be another justification in threatening an already stressed sector."