Strong sales of spring lamb at butcher's shops
Butchers have reported strong demand for spring lamb, with supplies low on the ground.
The ICSA sheep chair John Brooks said the country's butchers had "stepped up to the mark" by paying in excess of €7/kg, however the processors had not paid a fair price for the "specialised product".
James Nolan from the award-winning Nolan Butchers in Kilcullen, Co Kildare said they had experienced "incredible demand". "The problem with Easter coming so early is it is hard to get spring lamb, they are lighter and more expensive," he said, adding they had paid €7.15/kg for 75 day old Suffolks to the farmer who supplies them.
Both Mr Nolan and Seamus Etherson from Ethersons Butchers Cabra, president of the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland, said a prime leg of lamb was retailing at €45.
"The numbers are very scarce," he said, pointing out they had paid €7.40/kg for lamb. "Easter is two or three weeks too early for a lot of fellows," he said. The IFA's John Lynskey said farmers were faring better with mart sales and at butchers.