Irish Farming Lobby May Protest Again

It has emerged today that more protests by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) over the cost of supermarket price cuts to the farming sector are not being ruled out.

The Chairman of Sligo IFA, Billy Sommerville made him comments following an all-day blockade at Musgraves distribution centre in Kildare yesterday.

Farmers claim the slashing of food prices by supermarkets in an attempt to provide cheaper products than their competitors is forcing farmers out of business.

They protested at the centre which supplies Musgrave's Supervalu and Centra on Wednesday.

Now, talks are continuing between the IFA and Musgrave's distributors in Kildare following the all-day demonstration.

Mr Sommerville insists that farmers backs are "against the wall" and added that further action could be "on the cards".

Dairy farmers across Ireland and further afield are also incensed over prices.

In May this year, about 40 members of the IFA dairy committee staged a protest at the office of the European Commission in Dublin over the price farmers are being paid for milk.

Committee Chairman Richard Kennedy said some farmers had called for milk to be dumped because of low prices, but he said this kind of action is unlikely to happen.

The dairy farmers said they are producing milk at below the cost of production, with the average farm family losing €19,000.

Far more farmers from across Europe also demonstrated against low milk prices outside the EU Council of Ministers building in Luxembourg last month, even pelting officials with eggs.

Hundreds of tractors took part in the protests, which brought traffic to a halt on the main road between Brussels and Luxembourg just as EU farm ministers met to discuss the reform of farm policy.

The farmers and tractors blocked much of Luxembourg's EU quarter. They also burned a stack of hay outside the European Court of Justice, Europe's highest court and opened the taps of a milk truck in front of the council of ministers' building.

An IFA delegation with about 100 Irish farmers took part in that protest.


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