Farmer confidence is on the floor and the factories have to immediately stop the price cuts, which are exploiting a very difficult market situation, IFA national livestock chair Angus Woods has said.

Woods said that the IFA has been in contact with senior management in the main beef factory groups and made it clear that beef price cuts will not be tolerated. He said the IFA also informed them that they must restore prices to viable levels.

Beef farmers are very angry with what they see as the factories’ refusal to support beef farmers at this difficult time, he said.

“This is not only undermining the confidence of beef and suckler farmers at a critical time for the future of the sector, it is also undermining prices and the value of our beef in the market place.

“This drive to the bottom on price is inflicting severe financial hardship on farmers and sending the wrong signal to the market place, undermining the value of our product and our production standards.

“This week the base price for steers is €3.60 and €3.70 for heifers. Some factories are attempting to quote lower prices, but are having to pay more than the quotes,” he said.

The livestock chair said farmers with quality prime cattle are strongly resisting the price cuts and insisting that they get more than the loss-making quoted price.

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