Fianna Fail canndidate in the local elections Jackie Cahill has called for live cattle exports to be made a priority at all age groups to help farmers who are suffering substantial losses.
Mr Cahill, who will contest the Thurles / Roscrea / Templemore area, outlined that farmers finishing cattle in spring 2014 are bitterly disappointed with the returns being received.
Factory prices are 30 to 35 per cent behind prices from last year and finishers are losing substantial amounts of money.
He said that confidence in the industry was at an all-time low and the knock on effect was that beef production will surely drop and this will ruin the ambitions of Harvest 2020.
According to Mr Cahill, “factories held seminars two years ago persuading farmers to hold on to calves and not export live. This has been shown to be a fallacy and factories are unwilling to pay a reasonable price for these cattle now. Farmers are ruing the lack of live exports and their confidence in the industry is shattered.”
The solution outlined by Mr Cahill, which calls for prioritisation of live exports was, he said, “essential for a competitive price to be paid”.
Mr has pledged his support for the farmers in their ongoing battle with the factories.