Commenting on the news that Irish beef is to be granted enhanced access to the Saudi Arabian markets, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, Michael Guinan, said that the announcement was very good news and represented a considerable achievement on the part of Minister Creed and his officials. But he also stressed that farmers judged – and would always judge – these kinds of announcements by the effect they had on the prices farmers received for their cattle. There was little point, he said, in the Government securing new and better markets or working to achieve ‘enhanced’ status for our beef exports if the factories were going to ‘hog’ the better margins available and keep suppressing the price paid to the people actually producing the beef.
“There’s a long list of reasons why Irish farmers are so presently dissatisfied with their returns from beef and most of these reasons centre on the QPS Grid – which has repeatedly been shown to discriminate against farmers in general – and animals from the dairy herd, in particular. ICMSA will always recognise good marketing and progress on securing trade concessions but we’re surely entitled to wonder why these agreements seem so slow in working their way through to the price farmers receive for their cattle. We will continue to lobby for changes to the system that recognise that that it is the farmers and their work in producing the beef that is the foundation stone for the whole multi-billion Euro Irish beef sector and it is high time that the distribution of margins within the beef supply-chain reflected that fact”, said Mr. Guinan.
Ends 28 February 2017.
Michael Guinan, 086-8766851
Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office