Apr 262013

Irish farmers are getting €140 per head below their UK counterparts this week for the average steer, according to Michael Guinan, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Beef & Cattle Committee. Mr Guinan said that a price gap of this magnitude simply couldn’t be justified at any time, but in the present circumstances facing Irish farmers, it was nothing less than outrageous and he called on meat processors to immediately increase beef prices in line with markets returns.

According to Bord Bia figures, the average price of a R3 steer this week in Ireland is €4.21/kg excluding VAT compared to €4.59/kg in Great Britain, which is equivalent to approximately €140 per head on the average steer. Compared with the same week in 2012, the gap between Irish and British prices has grown by approximately €50 per head and this clearly requires an explanation from meat plants at a time when farmers are facing a crisis at farm level. Put bluntly, the gap with our main market has increased by a massive €50 per head. This should not be happening and farmers simply cannot afford such a price gap considering the massive costs being incurred on farms at present”, said Mr Guinan.

The ICMSA Beef Chairman said that markets for beef throughout the EU remain strong and with the UK still the major market outlet for Irish beef – taking in excess of 50% of Irish beef exports – farmers can justifiably be very suspicious about a gap of €140 per and are justified in concluding that the meat plants are taking advantage of the increased kill due to the fodder crisis to underpay farmers already financially hammered by the weather and fodder crisis.

Ends         26 April.

Michael Guinan, 086-8766851

Chairman, ICMSA Beef & Cattle Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office