The ICSA President Patrick Kent claims that ‘beef will be the loser’ if things continue the way they are in Europe:

In a recent statement from ICSA president Patrick Kent, he explains that the ‘beef roundtable is going to have to face the reality that we need to think about sustainable downsizing in the livestock trade’, especially since the beef industry cannot deliver anywhere near sustainable prices for beef at present.

“With the uncertainty around Brexit, and the clear signal from the beef processors that they see Brexit and weaker sterling as a reason to cut beef price, it is clear that the FoodWise 2025 strategy of massive expansion of our output (to €19 billion) is now dead in the water.

“We have seen an acceptance by the EU Commission in its report on future trade agreements that beef will be the loser. This vindicates the ICSA position against bad CETA, TTIP and Mercosur trade deals which offer little or no upside for the beef sector,” said President Kent.

The ICSA president also said that ‘meanwhile, the beef industry has failed to deliver benefits to farmers from the opening of the USA market to manufacturing beef’. He added that ‘efforts to open new markets in China and South East Asia, although valiant, have so far delivered nothing in terms of beef price. Hopefully, however, the Minister’s recent missions to North Africa will help deliver more live exports’.

“We cannot escape the reality that the Irish livestock sector is on its knees at present and the only hope is more live exports. However, gains in North Africa and Turkey are not sufficient to compensate for the considerable fall off in Italian live exports.”

Kent’s statement concluded with the following:

“ICSA is also insisting that we need a full review of pricing structures under the grid. The 30-month cut off, weight limits and residency requirements are all artificial and crooked devices to undermine farmer price and must end.”