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Jun 25, 2024 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

ICSA Sheep chair Willie Shaw has criticised factories for pulling prices to a level that does not reflect the cost of production. “In the last few weeks, processors have slashed the price for spring lamb by over €1/kg, which translates to a hit of more than €20 per finished lamb. Cuts of this magnitude are extremely difficult for sheep farmers to bear, particularly with the cost of producing those lambs remaining high,” he said.

Continuing, Mr Shaw said, “Factory prices need to keep pace with the cost of production not only to keep the sheep farmers we have in business but to ensure we have sheep farmers into the future. However, this is not happening, and too often, the factories are just ignoring what it actually costs to get the product to their doors, much to the anger of those working around the clock to produce spring lambs. That is why we are hearing of more and more farmers selling off their breeding ewes as it’s just not making sense financially to continue, particularly off the back of a very poor store trade last year.”

Mr Shaw urged farmers to fight for decent prices and called on processors to give proper consideration to the cost of production. “There is no justification for factories pulling lamb prices week after week. The demand is there, and supplies remain tight despite any factory scaremongering. The problem lies not in market demand but in the processors’ willingness to pay a fair price that reflects the full costs incurred by farmers. The factories’ approach is unsustainable and unfair, leaving farmers to bear the brunt of the financial burden without any reasonable justification.”


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