‘Cheap’ Irish beef lowers UK prices, says NBA
British beef farmers complain 'cheap' meat from Irish beef processors is forcing down the price of beef across the UK
18 May 2009
“Cheap” Irish beef is forcing down cattle prices across the UK, British farmers have claimed.
Kim Hayward, director of the National Beef Association (NBA) in Britain said Irish processors who were cutting beef quotes, were diminishing the returns of local finishers.
Slaughter cattle in Ireland were on average €79 to €90/hd cheaper than in Britain, she stated.
The NBA has also said that Northern Irish processors, may of whom also have plants in mainland Britain, are importing cattle from the Republic for immediate slaughter; again reducing cattle prices across the UK.
Irish finishers are similarly affected. The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says beef processors are undercutting each other on the British retail market, which is holding back the price Irish finishers can receive; “by 15 to 20c/kg below where they should be.”
NBA Northern Ireland chairman Oisin Murnion also believed the policies hit ROI finishers who have “concluded that they too are victims of an organised attempt by the many companies that have plants in both the UK and the ROI to play off the two national markets against each other, thereby pulling down the price of beef cattle in both countries.”
A Bord Bia official said however, that tight domestic supplies in Britain and lower South American imports from the Brazilian beef ban means Britain needs Irish beef.