Opening of Egypt to Irish beef must result in better prices for farmers or else “it’s irrelevant”
Securing new markets or ‘re-opening’ markets closed for whatever reason can not be seen as an end-in-itself, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, Michael Guinan, has said.
Commenting on the announcement of the re-opening of the Egyptian market to Irish beef, he said that obviously the more markets that were available to Irish beef exports the healthier the outlook for the sector and he paid tribute to the efforts of the officials responsible.
However, he said it cannot be stressed often enough that announcing new export opportunities is “practically pointless unless primary beef producers can see a resultant improvement in their cattle prices”.
These increased export opportunities have to translate back into better prices for the farmers or they quickly become just irrelevant as far as ICMSA is concerned.
“This year is going to see increased numbers coming into the cycle and there’s a level of concern about the prices that are going to be available.
“We’re happy to acknowledge new or re-opening markets but we do think that the priority must be a serious ‘step-up’ in terms of live exports and we still think that the Minister and his officials should be looking at a specialist unit within the Department that is focussed on delivering that and working through the obstacles – regulatory, licensing, shipping, financial – that have repeatedly stopped that trade being developed,” said the ICMSA Livestock Committee Chairperson.
'Factories very anxious for cattle'
Meanwhile, IFA President Joe Healy has called for a strong beef increase from the factories, saying there was a full clear out of retail beef sales over the holiday period and factories are very anxious for cattle again in the New Year.