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ICSA Questions Meat Industry Ireland Assertions

Jul 26, 2014 | Press Releases | 0 comments

July 26th 2014

ICSA suckler chairman Dermot Kelleher has questioned recent assertions by Meat Industry Ireland that adoption of the technologies recommended by Teagasc and the ICBF would deliver a more efficient and profitable beef farming sector into the future.

“At the Teagasc Open Day at Grange, figures showed that a farmer operating at a very high level of efficiency, with 70 sucklers on 40 hectares, can expect to generate no more than €100 per hectare net profit on this enterprise. Farmers cannot operate any more efficiently than they are doing,” said Mr. Kelleher. “Teagasc themselves recently confirmed that in 2013, suckler farmers lost an average of €123 per hectare. If suckler enterprises on good quality land can’t make money, what chance have farmers on marginal land, regardless of how efficient they are?”

“The elephant in the room here is that suckler farmers are simply not getting a high enough percentage of the final retail price to be profitable. What they really need is not a lecture on efficiency but a vibrant live export sector and the removal of arbitrary specification requirements such as the 380kg weight limit for quality continental bulls.”

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ICSA Beef chair Edmund Graham has called on the new Food Regulator to pay special attention to the takeover of Kildare Chilling by Dawn Meats which he said has devastating implications for competition for both beef and lamb. “Farmers have lost all faith in the CCPC which has nodded through this takeover. The reality is that a factory that many farmers depended on to sell cattle and lambs at a fair price is now under the control of one of the big two. This will not be a good outcome for farmers.”

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