Speaking at a National Livestock Committee meeting in Dublin this week, IFA Livestock Chairperson, Angus Woods said the factories have to stop cutting cattle prices and stabilise the market.
He said IFA has been in contact with Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed and the key factory players on the price issue. He said, “Our message is clear. Stop cutting prices and stop undermining confidence in the market place.”
“Minister Creed needs to call in the meat factories and tell them that they have to stabilise the beef price and stop undermining confidence in the markets. Stability on cattle prices is critical at this juncture and the Minister needs to ensure that the factories act in a responsible manner," he said.
Members of the National Livestock Committee and IFA County Chairpersons, along with beef farmers will meet with factory management throughout the country to highlight the damage from the cattle price cuts.
The IFA livestock leader said the factories need to act in a responsible manner and must stop using the drought issues to undermine prices. He said the factories can stabilise the prime cattle prices as there is no additional volume of prime cattle and the market for prime cattle remains strong.
Mr Woods said the fall in cattle prices is seriously undermining incomes on beef farms and extremely damaging to the suckler herd. He said the most efficient beef farmers cannot produce beef at a price below the costs of production.
On numbers, he said the Department of Agriculture AIMS data on the key 12 to 24 month age category shows that there are only 9,000 more cattle in the system in April compared to last year and the kill to date this year is already up 22,000 head.