There is no future for sheep farming at current prices, ICSA sheep chair Seán McNamara has said.
On Tuesday, he said he was hopeful that the lamb price might stabilise following the association’s recent talks with Kepak.
He said that all sheep meat processors needed to find ways of getting farmers a better share of the cake.
“Prices below €5/kg simply do not add up for any sheep farmer. No young farmer will be attracted into sheep farming at this year’s price level.
“The really frustrating thing is that with lambs being scarce in Australia and New Zealand, sheep farmers down under are experiencing something of a boom on price.
"This explains why New Zealand is not even filling its quota for the EU because demand is going so well in Asian markets.
We simply do not accept that current prices represent a fair share out of the returns from the market place
“In fact, one processor in New Zealand is offering a contract for lambs in August at a price of NZ$9/kg (€5.31/kg).
"While there may be some demand issues in Europe, we simply do not accept that current prices represent a fair share out of the returns from the market place,” he said.
McNamara said that the ICSA opposes unduly severe weight limits on lamb.
“There are ample outlets for lambs of 22kg.
"If all lambs were this weight, there might be some argument, but the reality is that farmers are getting hammered, particularly in the case of good conformation lambs, where very low weight limits are inappropriate,” he said.
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