Beef Price Campaign Continues With Tesco Blockade

Farmers are continuing in their campaign for higher beef prices by blockading a Tesco central distribution centre in Donabate, Co Dublin.

The protest will last 12 hours and follows similar action at the Aldi and Lidl central distribution centres last week.

President of the Irish Farmers' Association Joe Healy said last week's statement by Larry Goodman's ABP group that they would increase prices contained no specific figure.

"This is typical of the lack of transparency from meat factories," Mr Healy said.

"From talking to farmers, it would seem that generally the price rises appear to be 5c/kg for heifers and 10c/kg for steers. This still leaves the Irish price well short of the Bord Bia EU Benchmark and it remains over 50c off the UK price as their market continues to strengthen. The UK price increased again last week and sterling improved to 84p/€ last Friday.

"It is clear, based on market increases, that the factories including ABP could have increased cattle prices some weeks ago, but they did not. Instead, they pocketed the increases for themselves and refused to pass it back to farmers. MII representing the factories adopted the same stalling tactic at the Beef Taskforce."

Mr Healy continued: "Farmers are also appalled to see Tesco advertising 'half price' beef in the last few days. This unsustainable discounting puts downward pressure on beef prices and is an insult to farmers and the work they do."

The IFA plans to continue the action until substantial price increases are implemented.

Mr Healy concluded: "We don’t have to wait until 'price setting Friday', as ABP insisted in their press statement. This can happen any day. This sort of controlling practice only serves to fuel the belief amongst farmers that ABP are abusing their dominant position in the market. I would call on the other meat processors to break from this practice and announce a further price increase immediately, in line with increases in the market."


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