06/12/2019

IFA Block Retail Centre Amid Calls For Price Increase

The Irish Farmers' Association is today staging a protest at a Co Kildare retail distribution centre to demand a significant and immediate beef price increase.

The organisation believes prices should be brought in line at least with the Bord Bia European Export Benchmark Price Index.

An Aldi distribution centre in Naas has been blocked today, Friday 06 December, as protests continue.

IFA President Joe Healy said farmers are sick of being short changed by meat factories and retailers on beef price.

"The supply chain is delivering mega profits for factories and retailers at the expense of farmers. We can have all the reviews we like, but farmers need a price increase now," Mr Healy said.

Before any talks last August, the union insisted that the retailers had to be present, but they refused to take part.

"They have a dominant role in a dysfunctional food chain and they have to be held to account," added Mr Healy.

Irish prices are 20c/kg or €80 per animal behind the Bord Bia price tracker, and 50c/kg or €180 behind the UK price. Prices here have been well behind the EU and UK beef price for weeks.

"To hear Meat Industry Ireland representatives after the Beef Taskforce talk about the 'green shoots' of a market recovery when the grass has been growing under their feet for weeks is an insult to farmers' intelligence and another delaying tactic.

"Farmers won't accept any more stalling or a Mickey Mouse price increase. There is no reason why we shouldn't be at the EU Export Benchmark Price.

"The retail sector has been driving down food prices without any consideration for the impact on primary producers. We hear a lot of talk from these retailers about Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability. Yet, they work hand in glove with processors without any consideration for the impact on farmers.

"The supply chain is failing and today we are blocking it for 12 hours. We will continue to take action until processors give a significant price increase."



(JG/CM)

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