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SHEEP FARMERS NEED €8.30/KG TO SURVIVE AND SECURE A FUTURE FOR SHEEP FARMING

Mar 22, 2023 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

ICSA Sheep chair Sean McNamara has said farmers need to be paid €8.30/kg for lambs in order for them to keep producing. “Sheep farmers have been producing at well below the cost of production for too long and it has caused havoc in the sector. That is why ICSA is looking for a rescue package for sheep farmers – but the fact remains that processors too must play their part and pay farmers a price that takes our hugely inflated input costs into consideration and actually covers the cost of production,” he said.

Mr McNamara was speaking at an ICSA Sheep Crisis meeting held in Carrick-on-Shannon last night (Tues 21 March). The meeting was also addressed by Joe Burke – Bord Bia Senior Manager Meat and Livestock, Seamus McMenamin – Bord Bia Sector Manager Meat and Livestock, and Oliver Crowe of CC Agricultural Consultants.

Mr McNamara said, “Tonight it was confirmed by Bord Bia that Brexit did disadvantage the Irish sheep sector and that Irish sheep farmers will face increased competition in Europe from the UK and the Southern Hemisphere for the remainder of 2023 – much like it has done since the Brexit vote.

This is the reason that ICSA is campaigning for a €50m emergency aid package for sheep farmers – to be funded through the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR). Sheep farmers are the ones that have been most impacted by Brexit, and they urgently need the Government to access this fund on their behalf. That is what this fund is there for, and it must be used.”

Mr McNamara said the current crisis in the sheep sector will prevent any young farmers from choosing to go into the sector unless real action is taken. “Sheep farmers are not getting a fair price for their product nor are they receiving enough government support, and if young farmers cannot see a future in sheep farming then there is no future for the sector. It makes very little sense to produce a world class product if you cannot make a viable living from doing so.”

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