Farmer margin dropping by 1.7% each year
Addressing the Agriculture Committee this afternoon, Denis Naughten TD said “we must bring about a situation where beef farmers have a fixed share of the price paid by supermarket customers for their product”.
“A lot of the anger expressed by farmers is around cattle specifications and supermarkets need to provide a justification for the specifications that are being laid down by beef processors,” stated Denis Naughten.
“Not only do we need transparency on these specifications – and the price margins operated right across the beef supply chain – but we also need to put a robust mechanism in place to ensure that farmers get a fare share of the final retail price for their animal.
“The fact is the further the animal goes from the farm gate, the less information is made available on price. That is why beef price transparency right across the supply chain, and the associated specifications, must be addressed in the context of securing a fixed but fair proportion of the final price for beef farmers.
“While there is a large volume of information available on what the beef farmer sells his cattle for at either the mart or meat plant, there is a lack of information on margins in the processing sector or the farmers’ share of the carcass price received on EU markets by processors, including the volumes & value of specific cuts.
“There must be a justification for these specifications and we need to know what the beef carcass is ultimately selling for, including its specific cuts. This must then be used to determine a fair share for beef farmers.
“While many are legitimately arguing that price cannot be discussed there is no legitimate argument not to look at a secure margin for farmers who are producing a premium product not just for the Irish market but for the EU Beef market.
“From my own survey, I have clearly shown that the share of the price of beef going to Irish farmers has dropped by one quarter over the last 15 years, or on average 1.7% each year, and unless we have a fixed share of the final price going to the farmers then suckler farmers will not survive until Christmas,” concluded Denis Naughten.
The survey carried out on the week of 4th July, excluding special offers, shows that the farmer gets €3.76 for a kilo of beef while shoppers are paying on average €11.99 for a kilo of round roast in their supermarket, a mark up of 218%.
|Product||Farmer’s Price 2005
|Average Price paid in supermarket 2005
|Farmer’s Price 2019
|Average Price paid in supermarket 2019
(1kg Round Roast)
Sources for Prices: All prices quoted week beginning 4th July 2005 and 8th July 2019*
Beef- Dept of Agriculture
Tesco- Online Internet Shopping Prices
Dunnes Stores- St. Stephen’s Green
Supervalu- (2019) Internet Shopping Prices
* Price quoted is Steers (R3) (c/kg) w/c 17/6/19 and the retail price excludes special offers