The chairman of Louth IFA Matthew McGreehan last Thursday met with the IFA executive council, to discuss the outcome of the beef forum which met the night before, and the next step which the Association will take to get a price increase for farmers that reflects the higher returns from the export market to the UK.
The mood among the members of the Executive Council was one of frustration at the failure of the meat factories to pass back prices to farmers.
Matthew Mc Greehan said that he is advising Louths beef farmers to demand more and to negotiate tough with the factories. Supplies are extremely tight and factories are struggling to get numbers for the Christmas kill.
Some progress was made by the beef forum on the specification issues that have caused major problems for farmers all year. Progress includes such things like the reinstatement Quality Payment System, the removal of weight limits and a new quality Assurance incentive for all steers and heifers from 1 January 2015.
More work needs to be done on age specs which the forum has agreed to address over a period, but Matthew McGreehan said beef farmers in the country must see an immediate price rise in order that they stay in business.
“By not passing back prices to farmers,” he said, “that reflect the market and cover the cost of production and leave an income for farmers, factories are doing huge damage to the industry because farmers will not be able to afford to supply factories. Factory bosses need to take a long hard look at the harm they have done to farmers income all year and look at the long term.”