ICSA Sheep chair Sean McNamara has slammed meat factories for taking over €4 million out of sheep farmers pockets over the last number of weeks. “Lamb prices have been pulled sharply again and again in recent weeks; we’re now back €1/kg compared to where we were in the second week of July. That is around €21/hd slashed from every lamb processed at the 21kg weight limit. With an average of 50,000 lambs processed per week, that’s €1.05m denied to sheep farmers per week, or over €4 million over the course of four weeks,” he said.
“Sheep farmers simply cannot absorb that kind of hit. Inflation is hitting us hard and input costs have gone through the roof. The processors tell us that we are getting the same as last year, but what good is that to us? Last year’s prices are not enough to keep us in business this year. We cannot survive as a sector when we cannot cover our basic costs of production.”
Mr McNamara urged all sheep farmers to resist any further price cuts. “There is no justification for these price cuts and the way processors are treating their suppliers is unacceptable.”