Sheep woes as factories chop Spring lamb prices

Roy O'Brien: Factories must play ball!
Roy O'Brien: Factories must play ball!

THE meat plants have been called upon to back-off from ‘opportunistic price cuts’ that has in cases led to a price drop for Spring lambs of up to €30 a head since early May.

A flooding of the market – due to the movement of mainland UK lambs into Northern Ireland – has given the factories the opportunity to ‘pull prices’ since the start of the month.

Also being factored into the equation is a very early Spring in terms of grass growth which has meant that more lambs are coming to the market earlier than normal.

Galway/Mayo IFA Regional Executive, Roy O’Brien, told the Farming Tribune that the ‘Brexit fear factor’ was prompting many UK sheep farmers to ‘move on’ lambs into Northern Ireland.

“While Brexit and the early Spring are some of the background issues, there can be no justification whatsoever for the opportunistic price cuts that the factories have imposed on farmers since the beginning of the month.

“I am calling on the factories to immediately reverse the cuts that they have implemented. What they are doing is dancing on the graves of Irish sheep farmers,” said Roy O’Brien.

He also called on Bord Bia and the Dept. of Agricuilture to promote more vigourously the high quality food product that is Irish lamb.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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