IRELAND - The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) President said the meat industry’s commitment to the Minister to address the issues must translate into immediate and substantial beef price increases that reflect market returns.
Following an emergency meeting of the IFA Executive Council in the Irish Farm Centre in Dublin on Sunday 2 November, a decision has been taken to sanction further action against the beef factories as part of IFA’s determined campaign to secure beef price increases and address market specification issues. The National Livestock Committee also attended the meeting.
IFA President Eddie Downey said: “We had a lengthy discussion about the price and specification issues that have to be resolved. The clear message from members of the Executive Council and the Livestock Committee was that farmers are very angry that the price gap has not been addressed. Unless there is significant movement on this and the specification issues, farmers will not let another week go by without further action.”
He said: “Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney confirmed that he will convene another meeting of the Beef Forum on November 12 and in the interim, he expects significant progress to be made on the market price and specification issues.”
The IFA President said the QPS payment system has to be fixed as part of these discussions. Failure to deal with these issues comprehensively will be failure for the Minister’s Forum.
With UK beef prices increasing by 30c/kg (€100 per head) in the last number of weeks, Eddie Downey said there is no excuse for the factories to withhold a price increase to farmers. He said there is no credible explanation why the strong price increase in the UK, which takes over half of our exports, is not reflected in higher prices to Irish farmers. Irish beef sales to the UK are up 20 per cent this year.
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