Disturbing gap in beef prices
Vast difference between prices paid to Irish suppliers compared to other countries has been slammed by ICMSA
The ICMSA has described as "deeply disturbing" recent analysis of international beef price trends over the past three years, which showed Irish producers suffering a disproportionate drop in prices.
The analysis, which was carried out by the ICMSA beef division, examined the trend in Britain, France, Germany, Northern Ireland and the US relative to Ireland for the period 2011-2014.
It revealed a consistent decline in prices being paid to Irish producers relative to the other countries, including the overall EU average.
Compared to the overall EU average, the analysis found that the average Irish price for R3 steer beef was 4c/kg lower in 2011 but was 26c/kg lower this year.
The difference with Northern Ireland has gone from 4c/kg below to 41c/kg below, while compared to Britain the differential went from 14c/kg to 65c/kg.
Simply not acceptable
Irish prices were ahead of the US by 55c/kg in 2011. In 2014, the Irish price is 11c/kg higher than the US.
"It is simply not acceptable to see that the same type of beef can be priced so differently and to find, moreover, that the gap between Irish beef prices and comparable markets is actually widening year on year," said Michael Guinan, chairperson of ICMSA's Livestock Committee.