Kepak Group`s procurement supervisor Jonathan Forbes gave a speech at Kilkenny’s market this week. He is a prime participant withinside the Irish cattle business, oversees the acquisition of over 280,000 livestock in addition to 650,000 sheep for Kepak`s operations in Ireland. Forbes manages the Kepak farm in Clonee, Co. Meath, which finishes 3,500-4,000 livestock/year. Kepak strategies about 500,000 livestock, 1.7 million sheep, and near 400,000 pigs throughout its UK and Irish operations.

Forbes stated that as much as closing week, over 96,000 extra livestock were processed (which includes veal) this year, that’s an 8.7% boom on closing year. “The high kill is up 6.1%, the cow kill is up 15.5% and veal plus bulls are up 21%,” he stated.

“We`re searching at a mean weekly throughput of 36,000 livestock till the stop of the year,” he stated.

“Some weeks there could be greater livestock and a few weeks there could be much less livestock.”

“Kepak`s focus with providers to make certain we satisfy our customers` needs withinside the first six months of 2023. “That`s the way it is, we don`t turn on and off, it`s a 52-week non-stop deliver arrangement.”


Because of modern charges and risk, Forbes believes beef finishers “will live near the marketplace” while making choices on maintaining livestock. He believes finishers will live “inside 60 days of slaughter” in which they’ve a higher view of the marketplace and might turn on from there.

“When I commenced procurement twenty years ago, I offered R-grade steers at £1.96/kg. Now, we`re at near the €5/kg mark. In twenty years, that`s in which we`ve come.” “There`s much less beef imports coming from non EU-international locations and there`s accelerated international call for from international markets. Asia is taking the beef from south America and Australia and that is displacing it from getting into Europe,” he stated.

Forbes informed farmers in attendance on the records night that the call for for minced-pork products “has skyrocketed”.

“Demand for mince is skyrocketing, and for good reason. Consumers are switching to cheaper beef. I do,” he said.

“This is because consumers are down trading. They went from steak cuts to mince.”


“Hamburgers, ground beef and meatballs demand had increased by 19%, a trend that I personally believe is continuing.” Forbes says it expects demand for meat in retail and restaurant services to continue to grow.

Explaining that steak consumption is declining as consumer trade falls, he said there was a “significant amount of steak” in cold storage at certain times of the year and that the sales team was “taking action.” We must wait for the right opportunity,” he said.

“The gray area is how many people eat steak in the next seven to eight months, and I’m pretty sure the market will still be for burgers and ground beef.”

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