The price of cattle in Ireland has changed very little over the past 20 years. The cost of feeding an animal over the winter months including veterinary charges would just about cover the price of a good animal. So why has the price of Irish meat gone to a level which makes it one of the most expensive countries in EU?
EU regulations is what has happened. Because of EU regulations in regard to the butchering of animals and the storing of meat hundreds of butcher shops all over the country have had close shop.
Could it be that the Dept of Agriculture went a bit over the top in enforcing the rules? If you travel through France and see all the Open Markets selling all sorts of dairy produce including meat it would seem so.
A few years ago on a visit to the UK I was amazed to see meat hanging on hooks outside a butcher shop in Stafford, no one seem a bit shocked at this, it seemed to the norm. I sure it’s 50 years since the likes of that was seen in Ireland. EU regulations no where to be seen.
Meat Factories and Large Supermarket chains have taken over the whole dairy produce and meat industry, they dictate the prices and take most of the profits. Then the consumer blames the farmer who is finding it hard to find the money to feed and house animals over the winter months.
Large Supermarkets can buy their produce anywhere in the world where they can get it cheap prices then sell for the highest margin of profit. They can even sell below cost price to attract customers in to buy high prices goods. The small guy just can’t win.
Sold are the “Fields of Athenry” along with at least half of the Livestock Marts in the country. What were Teagasc doing over the last 10 years apart from selling off lands which were formally used for Agricultural Research?. Talk about selling the “Goose that had laid the Golden Egg“.