Ulster farmers up in arms at rise in meat prices by association (1963)
and live on Freeview channel 276
At a press conference later, Mr J T O’Brien, general secretary of the UFU, said arguments put up by the Master Butchers’ Association were “completely false and erroneous”.
The butchers had said they may be forced to raise the prices without delay if “the present cost of fatstock continues”. They had claimed the margin of profit was now so small.
But Mr O’Brien refuted their arguments.
He said the price per live cwt had only risen by 5d in the previous few weeks.
“There is absolutely no justification for raising the price to the housewife,” he declared.
“Until last week the price farmers received for their cattle has been substantially less than the price they got last year.”
He added: “The real reason for the increase is that a committee now sitting in London is trying to regulate importation and the Butchers’ Association is assuming this will automatically mean higher prices for meat.”
Mr O’Brien concluded: “The butchers are simply getting in quickly.”
And what was the reaction of Ulster farmers? Said Mr A G Algeo, the recently-elected president of the UFU: “They were very hostile at the meeting. Members complexioned bitterly about the statement by the Master Butchers’ Association.”
Asked if the UFU would take any action to stop the price increase, an official from the UFU remarked: “That is entirely up to the housewife.”
Mr Algeo reported to the meeting on discussion with the Meat Exporters’ Association.
“It is clear to me,” he said, “that the expansion of the meat exporting industry is being inhibited by severe competition during the months of February to May from facilities based in the Republic of Ireland, which, because of the state support existing there and other conditions, are able to outbid Northern Ireland interests for the available stock.”
But he promised: “We shall examine this problem to see whether it could be resolved or mitigated by using remoteness funds.”
Busy sales at Enniskillen Mart - A total of 1,482 cattle were on offer at the weekly sale held by the Ulster Farmers; Mart Company, Ltd, at Enniskillen during this week in 1963, 930 imported and 348 home-bred store cattle, 156 calves and 48 cows were available for sale.
Farming Life noted: “With English and Scottish customers again in attendance, trade for the stock in the import ring was good, though not as keen as the previous week.”
Ruling prices were as follows: Dairy sales ring, Friesians - Springing cows to £74; calved to £63; springing heifers to £73; calved to £70.
Ayrshires - Springing cows to £66; calved to £61; springing heifers to £62 10s; calved to £59.
Home-bred sales ring - Angus cross steers to £60; heifers to £51; Shorthorn steers to £57; heifers to £47. Hereford cross steers to £60; heifers to £48; Friesian steers to £47; heifers to £45 10s.
Calf sales ring – Angus cross bull calves to £24; heifer calves to £15; Hereford bulls to £25; heifers to £17; Shorthorn bulls to £21 10s; heifers to £14 10s; Friesian bulls to £16 10s; heifers to £15 10s.
Ulster YFC crafts team for Welsh show - Many visitors to the Royal Welsh Show later in July 1963 would have their first chance of seeing demonstrations of Arran knitting.
The demonstrations was to be part of the exhibit being staged by the Ulster Young Farmers’ Club international craft team.
Skilled in the art is Vivienne Cobban from the Coleraine Club. The other member of the team was Jack Montgomery from Ahoghill YFC who was to demonstrate the art of stool making.
Helping them in the competition was Straid YFC member Raymond Hill. Travelling with the party to the show – being held for the first time on its permanent site at Builth Wells – was team trainer Ken Gilbert and Catherine Kennedy. The team were to leave Northern Ireland for Wales on July 20.