Farmers will have to get a dividend from Chinese exports

‘Farmers have been listening to optimism about China for five years but it’s no use if it does not result in a price rise.’

Sligo News File

ICSA beef chairman Edmond Graham has stressed that farmers will have to see a dividend from the opening of the Chinese market before it can be judged a success.

Edmund Graham, chair, ICSA Beef Committee

He said:

“After a long hard and expensive winter, the price of beef is simply nowhere near good enough for winter finishing. Beef price needs to go to a base price of €4.25/kg in the short term to cover the costs of this winter. Farmers have been listening to optimism about China for five years but it is no use to us if it does not result in a price rise.

“There can be no doubt that the opening of the market should allow for beter prices because meat factories will have options. They will therefore be in a stronger position to negotiate with EU supermarkets, and this opportunity must be used to drive a better price for farmers.

“Minister Creed states that this move is in line with the market development theme of Foodwise 2025, but will it just end up costing farmers more? We have seen that increased production has certainly resulted in more work and more pressure for farmers but not necessarily more reward. The focus has to be on ensuring that new markets have a tangible benefit to farmers.

“ICSA remains convinced that the best way to turn Chinese exports into better prices for farmers is to grow live exports as well.”

His assocation, he added, is calling on the Minister “to now focus on live export markets such as Turkey and North Africa.”