The ICSA sheep price protest outside Kepak Athleague is continuing today Monday (July 1st). ICSA sheep chairman Sean McNamara says that a stand has to be taken against excessive price cuts, with as little as €4.80/kg base price being offered.
He said ,“Athleague is leading the push to drive down prices but we are standing firm for a better price. Some factories are paying up to €5.30 including bonus.”
“However, this action is aimed at ensuring we put a floor under prices which will benefit farmers not just this week but for the rest of the year. If factories succeed in driving price too low now, it sets the tone for the rest of the year,” he added.
He spoke of the anger that farmers have about the way in which lambs are being imported from Northern Ireland to undermine the price for local lambs.
“This is not good enough,” he said, “factories have built empires on the work of Irish suppliers and they need to show some loyalty rather than squeezing farmers at every opportunity.”
The protest started yesterday afternoon, Sunday, (June 30th) and protestors kept vigil outside the plant throughout Sunday night.
“We don’t want to be here, but excess price cuts are killing the viability of sheep farmers and ICSA is fighting for the future of sheep farming,” he concluded.