Irish lamb producers are receiving almost 70c/kg less than New Zealand producers, according to ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara.
He said that Ireland has open access to the EU market and have less transport costs than them.
“Our sheep farmers are getting ripped off. When ICSA held protests during the summer outside sheepmeat plants, factory bosses told us that markets for sheepmeat were bad.”
“Amazingly now, markets seem to be booming for everybody else.”
“It’s not just the New Zealanders who are ahead of us. According to Bord Bia, UK producers are getting paid around 35c/kg more and in Spain it’s over €1.20/kg more.
Upward trends not reflected
Much like in the beef sector, he said, it is “extremely frustrating” that upward trends in global markets are not being “properly reflected” here.
Although Irish prices have increased in recent weeks, he stressed that Ireland is doing “very poorly” at a time when meat prices are powering ahead internationally, helped by demand from China for animal protein.”
‘More of a hit’ year after year
He made reference to figures from Bord Bia also indicate that prices have remained “practically stagnant” for the last ten years. “Year after year, our costs are going up so, year after year, sheep farmers are taking more of a hit.”
“We are being ripped off time and time again and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see how many of us are going to be able to stay going. All we want is a fair price for our produce.” McNamara concluded.