Factories accused of 'naked opportunism' as beef prices take a tumble
Farmers have reacted furiously as factory quotes for bullocks and heifers, and bulls in some places, slipped another 5c/kg this week .
Many plants will kill cattle this week at the old price of €3.75 and €3.85/kg, but most of these animals were bought up to two weeks' ago.
IFA President Joe Healy claimed there was a concerted effort by the meat factories to drive down the price of cattle.
He said “This is naked opportunism by the factories on the back of beef farmers”.
“There has been a huge national focus on the threat posed by Brexit to beef and the national economy. A cut to cattle prices would be an irresponsible act of sabotage by the meat factories at a time when the focus needs to be on Brexit,” he said.
He said farmers selling cattle at a base price of €3.75/kg for steers and €3.85/kg for heifers are taking cuts of 20-25c/kg below last year’s price levels, or reductions of up to €100 per head. Farmers selling young bulls have been hit for €200 per head.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said IFA has been in contact with all of the main meat factory bosses and MII on the cattle price issue.