The sheep chair of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has hit out at factories for cutting sheep prices.

“For four weeks in a row, the factories have pulled prices. The level of cuts isn’t reflecting what’s happening in the trade in our key export markets and sets the sector on a very dangerous path for the remainder of the year,” Adrian Gallagher said.

“Sheep farming is a low-income, vulnerable sector. The scale of the price cuts is undermining farmers’ viability and squeezing their margins even more.

"It’s a very depressing scenario for producers who have invested so much,” he said.

Gallagher called on factories to be responsible in their pricing of lambs and hoggets and to stand firm in the market place to maintain prices to sheep farmers.


He said supplies of sheepmeat produced in the EU and the UK are down this year.

Factories must stand firm and maximise returns from the market place for sheep farmers, he added.

The Donegal farmer said factories must stand firm with the supermarkets and not engage in a race to the bottom on price.

He also said the upcoming Budget is an opportunity to provide supports to sheep farmers.

“Our pre-budget submission will look to build on what has already been allocated to the sheep sector. We will be meeting politicians between now and October to make the case,” he concluded.