Farmers Protest As Income Drops

The Irish Farmers' Association has mounted tractor-barricades in counties all over the state over their steeply falling incomes.

Frequent traffic delays have developed after a synchronised campaign by farmers who drove their tractors slowly through 29 towns at 10am.

Traffic in Bandon, Co Cork, came to a standstill as over 150 tractors made their way through the town as part of the nationwide protest.

IFA President Padraig Walshe said the protest is part of the organisation's national campaign for equity and fairness for farmers.

Mr Walshe said the Government is not listening to the farming community and is failing to deal with concerns and problems which could wipe out the industry.

"While the drop in the price of food represents an increase in value for consumers, the reality is that retailers particularly and processors are maintaining their profit margins by forcing price reductions on producers. In a year where farm incomes are expected to drop by 25%, farm families are simply not able to cope with further downward pressure on product prices, caused by a retail price war," the IFA president said.

Speaking during the protests this morning, the IFA's Anne Keohane said farmers came from as far as Dunmanway, Ballinspittle and Clonakilty to highlight their concerns over falling farm prices.

Around 100 tractors are taking part in another protest in Portlaoise.

Last week, CSO inflation figures for September revealed a fall in food prices of 6% in the last year.

The IFA has called on the Government to introduce a statutory Supermarket Code of Practice with an independent Ombudsman office.


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