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Revolutionary Demand: Resetting Suckler Prices to Secure Livelihoods


The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has called for a reset of suckler prices to account for increased costs. Jimmy Cosgrave, the ICSA Suckler chair, stated that the average suckler farmer only makes around €9,000 per year. He emphasized that rising costs have significantly impacted suckler farmers, particularly due to the unsustainably low incomes in the sector. Cosgrave stressed the need for both weanling prices and factory prices for suckler stock to be reset in order to reflect the current realities. His comments were in response to statements made by Jonathan Forbes, the agriculture director of Kepak, at a recent Kepak-organised farm walk. While Cosgrave welcomed Forbes’ recognition of the importance of suckler-bred stock in the beef supply chain, he emphasized that prices must increase for suckler farmers to sustain their livelihoods. Cosgrave highlighted the €6 million investment in Bord Bia over the past three years for research on a suckler premium brand, and urged processors to translate this research into better prices for suckler beef. The ICSA called for the development of markets where premium prices can be achieved, and for the premium to be passed on to suckler farmers. Cosgrave warned that failure to do so would result in wasted investment and further decline in the number of suckler farmers. He referred to a recent survey indicating that 63% of suckler farmers would consider a reduction scheme, emphasizing that low incomes and high costs are driving people out of suckler farming. Cosgrave concluded by stating that maintaining enough suckler farmers to support the beef industry would require processors like Kepak to find a way to pay for premium suckler beef.

Thomas Lyons
Thomas Lyons
Thomas, the founder and chief editor at Top Rated, harbours a deep-seated passion for business, news, and product reviews. His thirst for knowledge and experience has led him on a journey across the length and breadth of the country, enabling him to garner a wealth of insight. At TopRated.ie, his sole aim is to deliver meticulously researched news and provide impartial reviews of fact checked Irish companies, thus helping readers make well-informed decisions.


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