Factories are dragging their heels in reflecting the true value of the marketplace and the 5c/kg weekly price increases are falling short of where the market is at, IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden has said.

The IFA has warned that prices paid by factories are not closing the gap with the prime export benchmark price, which has increased by a further 4c to €3.87/kg.

The prime Irish price for the same period increased by 3c to €3.74/kg, leaving a gap of 13c/kg.

“The €3.85/kg and €3.90/kg being offered this week for steers and heifers is not reflective of the demand for beef and the prices paid in our key export markets,” Golden said.

Production costs

The IFA has called for the baseline to move to €4.00/kg to reflect the current prices in the UK and EU markets.

“Supermarket demand for beef will strengthen further for Easter and with supplies extremely tight, factories must increase prices paid to farmers to bring them in line with the Bord Bia published export tracker price,” Golden continued.

“Winter finishers are experiencing a continual increase in production costs and beef prices must reflect this.”

Golden said part of the issue is the dominance of supermarkets in the marketplace and the closures of the food service sector.

“Offerings of beef at heavily discounted prices by supermarkets to drive footfall in stores is undermining the value of our product and must be stopped.

“[The] IFA’s current campaign highlights the behaviour of major retailers and the impact this has on farm incomes.”