Minister urged to publish beef kill rates per factory in the interest of competition

IRELAND - The president of one of the biggest farm lobby groups has slammed the lack of cattle price competition between the big meat factory groups as “more than a coincidence”.
calendar icon 12 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Padraig Walshe said: “Farmers believe a factory kill quota is in operation, stifling price competition.” Mr Walshe said that to establish the facts, he has urged Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan to publish a full breakdown and analysis of the weekly cattle kill for each named meat plant over the last five years.

The IFA president said the lack of any real price competition for cattle hits home when a farmer rings several meat plants on the same day and they all quote him exactly the same prices. He expressed the view that the factories or their agents will usually come out with the same propaganda and tell the farmer he better sell now, as the price will be lower again next week.

IFA national livestock committee chairman John Bryan added that there are a number of key conclusions from a recent comparative study of factory prices confirms the absence of real price competition among the main players in the industry. It highlights the critical importance of the smaller independent factories as the key cattle price drivers and their ability to pay the highest prices to farmers,” he said.

Mr Bryan said that despite the major progress made by factories in penetrating higher priced European and UK markets, there is still little price reward to farmers for producing higher quality stock. “The price differential between a U and an O grade is only 13c/kg or €45 per head. In Italy this price difference is typically 70c/kg or €270 per head,” he said.

Source: Mayo Advertiser
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