Farmers urged to ‘stand firm’ on cattle prices

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Current moves by Northern Ireland’s large abattoirs to push prices down and flush out the short supply of abattoir ready cattle both here and in GB should be resisted, Sean McAuley, a member of the FFA steering committee, has claimed.

Mr McAuley added: “Furthermore, movement penalties should be resisted, challenged and reclaimed with firmness. Beef farmers must remember that five farm organisations representing the vast majority of Northern Ireland livestock farmers completely opposed movement penalties being introduced last year and this stance has not changed.

“Therefore, beef farmers are quite within their rights to challenge these penalties where they have been levied.

“With new export markets opening up there is no excuse for this kind of behaviour by Northern Ireland’s large abattoirs other than profiteering,” he added.

Meanwhile, FFA have requested a meeting with the DARD Minister to discuss concerns around the issue of young farmers who will not qualify for the under 40 top-up scheme in the current new CAP due to already farming 50/50 or in their own right for five years or more.

According to William Taylor, FFA UK NI co-ordinator, the southern Irish government has now found a way to accommodate these young farmers within the framework of the EU directive therefore, there is no reason why this can’t be done here.

However, he said it will take the minister to intervene in what Northern Ireland’s top civil servants have so far failed to address.