June 25th 2015
ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has warned that sheep farmers are angry at the recent price collapse. “Sheep farmers are producing high quality product at a very expensive time of year, and are now being forced to sell at a loss,” he said.
“Prices have collapsed in recent weeks, at a time when farmers could reasonably expect that demand for their product would be at its peak. Spring lamb is at its best, sterling is strong and Ramadan is underway – farmers are understandably angry at the price collapse.”
“Many ICSA members attended the Teagasc Sheep2015 event in Athenry on Saturday, where they heard very positive stories from meat factories about the outlook for sheep farming, and yet by Monday, there had been another savage cut in prices. Quotes are now down at least 50c/kg on this time last year. There is no doubt that factories are talking down the trade, with many quoting €4.80 and less but paying €5 – we see this as an attempt to instil panic in sheep farmers rather than trying to work with them for everyone’s benefit.”
“It is in nobody’s interest to driver farmers out of business, particularly given the reduction in the Irish sheep population. All we are looking for is a fair price that recognises the cost and effort that goes into producing high-quality lamb at this time of year,” he concluded.