At a meeting between IFA and the lamb factories from Meat Industry Ireland (MII) in Dublin this week, IFA President Joe Healy said hogget finishers are extremely frustrated with the loss-making prices on offer from the meat plants, which are down 65c/kg or €15 per head on this time last year.
He said in some instances, with weight cuts, the losses are as high as €20 per lamb.
A National Sheep Committee delegation from the IFA told the factories in very blunt terms the poor prices along with unfair weight limit cuts on top of clipping charges had seriously eroded confidence in the sheep sector.
Mr Healy said IFA and Agriculture Minister worked very hard to secure a new €25m sheep welfare scheme, which had provided a great boost to the sector but this had been seriously undermined by the latest developments on the market side.
The factories are adopting an approach that is way too negative and is undermining market confidence, said the IFA President. He called on the factories to come out and offer a viable price for in-spec quality lambs.
“If the factories want in-spec quality lambs, let them offer a viable price for them and farmers will move them earlier and at lighter weights," he said.
IFA National Sheep Chairperson, John Lynskey agreed stating factories need to adopt a more responsible and longer term approach to ensure the continued supply of quality assured lamb out of season.