'The Turkish market will put manners on the meat factories'
My week: Martin McMahon
The recent resumption of live exports to Turkey is music to the ears of Martin McMahon who says the new market is light at the end of a dark tunnel for suckler farmers.
"It is crucial that competition is encouraged in the beef market if farmers are to survive," he says.
"Live exports are the solution to the poor prices which suckler farmers have been getting. That's good news about Turkey because it will put manners on the factories who have had the market to themselves over the past few years."
Martin (62) has been rearing and finishing beef since he was a child at the family farm near O'Callaghan's Mills in Co Clare and he is no fan of the factories. "All they do is talk price of cattle down and the only solution to their dominance is live exports," he says.
Martin is a third generation beef farmer running his herd on 200 acres of what he describes as "mixed to punishing" land in the Banner County and he has never seen beef prices dip as much in all his years of farming.
There is no balance between the price the farmer is getting and the prices paid by consumers, says Martin.
"Without live exports we will all have to rely on the factories and they are only interested in talking the price down. The only solution to the problem is live exports. "
The maths are simple on Martin's calculator.