Commenting on the news that Irish beef is to be granted full access to the US markets for the first time since all European beef was banned nearly 16 years ago, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, Michael Guinan, said that the announcement was excellent news and would be welcomed as a positive beginning to a year in which beef prices were expected to make a substantial recovery. Mr Guinan said that congratulations were due to Minister Coveney and his team for persisting with what were undoubtedly intensive negotiations but the fundamental reason why Ireland had been selected first for re-entry to the US Beef Market was the excellence and high standard of our product due to the hard work and technical competence of Irish farmers. Mr Guinan noted that US beef prices are presently around €4.50 per kilo and that price represented a decent opportunity for Irish product but he cautioned that all the Government’s efforts to secure Irish re-entry to the US market would be wasted unless this hugely positive achievement was reflected in the price being paid to the farmers raising the beef. There was little point, he said, in the Government securing new and better markets if the factories were going to ‘hog’ the better margins available and keep suppressing the price paid to the people actually producing the beef.
Ends 5 January 2015.
Michael Guinan, 086-8766851
Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office