Beef prices must reflect cost of production – IFA

IFA National Livestock Chair Brendan Golden said attempts by factories to reduce quotes is unacceptable and beef farmers do not have the capacity to absorb production cost increases.

The IFA National Livestock Chair said the Prime Export Benchmark Price for the latest week shows a price differential of 22c/kg, and with beef price reflecting the returns available from export markets for beef, there is clearly capacity in the market place to return higher prices and close this gap.

He noted tight supplies and strong global demand for beef is underpinning the trade.

“Winter finishers are in the process of making key decisions for the coming months, factories must reflect the realities of the current market in stronger prices now and offer winter finishers minimum price guarantees for their cattle for this winter and next spring,” Mr. Golden said.

“Teagasc have identified the break-even price for winter finishing will need to be €5.85/kg before any margin is factored in”.

Mr. Golden added that meat factories and multinational retailers are acutely aware of this and must provide surety for farmers in the form of minimum price guarantees to maintain our hard-earned consistent year-round supply of cattle.

He also highlighted that Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has a critical role to play in supporting suckler and beef farmers.

“The minister must provide suckler and beef farmers with direct targeted support to offset the feed costs for this winter. The minister must also provide for longer-term direct supports for suckler farmers to bring the payment rate for suckler cows to €300 a cow and provide €100 an animal for cattle rearing and finishing farmers,” the IFA Livestock Chair said.