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Dec 6, 2021 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

ICSA Organics chair Fergal Byrne has said organic beef producers will be somewhat reassured by the issuing of a €5.30/kg forward price guarantee by Good Herdsmen and Slaney Meats. “A price structure has been set by these companies for the next 10 weeks, and while quotes for this week are coming in at €5.10/kg, the base price will be a guaranteed €5.30/kg in the first week of February 2022.”

“This will offer some level of reassurance to organic farmers facing into an expensive winter of feeding. ICSA understands that the price guarantee is likely to be extended into early June with sources predicting prices of around the €5.60/kg mark throughout the spring and into the early summer. However, it is important to note that this price is inclusive of the quality assured bonus.”

Mr Byrne said he was not fully satisfied with the grid payment structure for organic cattle. “The positive is that there is now a built-in bonus for U grade cattle, but it is capped at +18c/kg compared to a top grid price of +24c/kg for U+ cattle in the conventional grid. Also, the cuts for O grade cattle in some instances are more severe than on the conventional grid.”

“It must be remembered however that the cost of feeding organic cattle is significantly higher than the cost of feeding commercial cattle. There is always the danger that with input costs continuing to rise rapidly we still may not be able to get a decent return. The price of organic ration is a real issue for winter finishing of organic cattle, and this is going to get worse before it gets better.”

Mr Byrne was clear that efforts to secure new market opportunities for organic beef must be intensified to ensure there are enough markets out there for what we are producing. “Government policy is to significantly increase the levels of organic production here. This is all well and good – but only if we have the markets, and that’s going to take a considerable effort.”

“The key issue is how much money are meat factories prepared to spend on growing EU markets for organic beef, how much resources are Bord Bia going to employ and can this lead to a substantial premium price for organic beef and lamb?”


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