The three chief representative bodies representing farmers in Ireland have responded to the news of the arrests of Brazilian agricultural officials in investigations into allegations of accepting bribes in order to admit product that does not meet European production standards food into the food chain with something of a 'we told you so'.
Coming at a time when EU officials are involved in negotiations concerning a proposed bi-lateral trade deal with the Mercosur countries in South America - a grouping that includes Brazil - the information highlights the dangers for European consumers that could arise. Accordingly, the IFA, ISMSA and ISCA have all appealed for an immediate ban on the importation of all Brazilian beef product into the EU to be instituted.
There has been a continued upward trend in cattle prices in the last week, the Chairman of the IFA National Livestock Committee Angus Woods reports. Most of the beef processing plants have moved up by five cents a kilo in order to secure sufficient numbers to meet demand with the result that the base for steers has moved on to €3.85 per kilogram while it has gone to €3.95 for heifers.
"Tighter numbers and the change in the weather have left agents and factories hunting for finished stock. Feeders have needed to dig in hard and insist on further price increases, which are desperately needed to lift winter finishing out of loss-making territory," he said.