IFA president Joe Healy said cattle farmers would have expected a lot more action from Minister Creed and the Government in calling the factories to task on the cattle price issue.
He repeated his call on Minister Creed to call in the factories and tell them bluntly to stop cutting the cattle price.
“It’s time the Minister demonstrated he is on the farmers side,” said Mr Healy. He said the Minister had undertaken a lot of work on market access but it was not giving a return back to farmers
He said the Minister met the banks on the fodder situation, which was positive, but he can no longer ignore the factories and must take action.
Mr Healy said the meat factories had taken advantage of their suppliers during the severe drought conditions.
He said the factories had cut cattle prices unnecessarily over recent weeks, destabilising the beef market and eroding confidence in the sector.
“Beef farmers feel very let down by the factories,” he said.
Mr Healy contrasted the negative approach from the meat factories with the much more supportive approach from the dairy co-ops towards their suppliers, where many co-ops were paying drought top-ups on the milk price as well as subsidising feed supplies and providing additional credit facilities.
IFA national livestock chairman Angus Woods said the factories can stabilise beef prices at this critical juncture.
IFA has been meeting with factory management at local level around the country highlighting the need for stability in the price.