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Processors failing to pay fair price for spring lamb, says ICSA

Apr 29, 2016 | ICSA in the Media | 0 comments

  • The ICSA said that all credit must be given to butchers, who have once again stepped up to the mark and paid in excess of €7/kg.
    The ICSA said that all credit must be given to butchers, who have once again stepped up to the mark and paid in excess of €7/kg.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) has criticised meat factories for failing to pay an adequate amount for spring lamb again this year. 

ICSA sheep chair John Brooks said spring lamb was a “highly specialised product”, and that a minimum of €7/kg was needed to make it viable for farmers.

“It involves a much specialised production process with ewes lambed in the depths of winter. Planning for this starts back in June or July in order to have lambs on the ground 14 weeks prior to Easter Sunday to ensure the supply is there to meet demand at this peak time,” he said.

Butchers step up to the mark

The ICSA said that all credit must be given to butchers, who have once again stepped up to the mark and paid in excess of €7/kg.

“In addition, they are prepared to pay this amount for up to 22kg whereas the factories are continuing to use the unfair 20kg cut-off for spring lamb. This is in direct contrast to what I’m hearing from butchers who regard a 22kg carcase as the optimum weight for spring lamb.

“If the spring lamb sector is to be viable, we need processors to recognise the extra labour and costs that go in to this unique product. We also need to see flexibility on the 20kg maximum weight issue if farmers are to see any rewards for their efforts,” Brooks said.

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