Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

Retailers carve up another slice of beef price

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Martin Ryan

There has been a 6.5pc swing on the price of beef per kilo in favour of processors and retailers in the past three months.

ICMSA's livestock chair Michael Guinan called for the promised EU work to assess and reform margins to be carried out as swiftly as possible.

"Until the farmer percentage is drastically revised upwards the long-term viability of our vital beef sector will remain a matter for speculation," he said.

The analysis from the ICMSA shows that between April and July 2017 the farmer share of the heifer price dropped from 51.6pc of the retail price to 48.3pc and the pattern was similar for steer beef, with the farmer share sliding from 49.8pc to 46.7pc.

He said the farmers' share of the final retail price did not reflect the level of inputs to produce the beef and was impacting on the long-term survival of the sector.

In-spec cattle

It comes as grassroot opposition to the 30-month cut off age for in-spec cattle at factories has intensified.

A motion from IFA Limerick to the national livestock committee did not get majority support for an all-out campaign of protest targeted at factories.

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IFA deputy president Richard Kennedy said they have taken up the matter with Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.

A further motion has now been submitted by the Westmeath IFA executive to have the discussion on the issue reopened.

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