Speaking following the Bord Bia Live Export Seminar, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, Mr. Michael Guinan said that all the indicators are pointing towards a strong live export trade for calves this Spring and that decent prices are achievable. “We’re satisfied that there’s a market there and it’s essential that the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine and his officials along with Bord Bia ensure that the live exporters receive all the necessary supports to maximise the number of calves exported and – just as importantly – that the dairy farmers concerned get a strong price at the start of what is likely to be a very challenging year for dairy farmers”, he said.
“Just looking at one key market for dairy calves, the Netherlands imports over 800,000 calves annually of which 41,000 came from Ireland in 2015. Against a background where dairy calf numbers in Ireland were up 120,000 in 2015 and likely to be higher again in 2016, there should be an opportunity to boost export levels to the Netherlands. Ireland has the best live export facilities globally and the strictest regulations and ICMSA thinks that the target now should be to boost numbers substantially to this Dutch market where the price of two to three week-old calves is substantially higher this year, with white veal and rose veal prices also higher, and with the cost of milk powder down. The profit outlook for Dutch calf producers is certainly better today than this time last year and Ireland needs to take advantage of this. We have to see a co-ordinated push and that means that live exporters must be supported and they, in turn, pay a stronger price to, particularly, the dairy farmers than they did in 2015”, observed the Livestock Chairperson.
Ends 15 January 2016.
Michael Guinan, 086-8766851
Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office