Beef and sheep farmers protested at retail outlets in Navan this morning accusing supermarket retailers and processors of profiteering on the back of excessive beef and lamb price cuts to livestock farmers.
Irish Farmers;' Association National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns was joined by sheep and beef farmers in the protest over unacceptable cuts in factory lamb and beef prices.
Mr Burns said: “Retailers have a corporate responsibility to ensure their farmer suppliers are paid a viable price that covers the costs of production and leaves a reasonable margin.”
He said: “The farmer price for top quality lamb has been slashed from €5.70/kg to quotes of €4.80/kg/kg in a matter of just two weeks. This is a price cut of close to €20 per lamb and will wipe almost all the farmer’s margin for his entire years’ work in just a few days.
“This type of price cutting by factories and retailers, ahead of the market, is totally unacceptable. Farmers are demanding to know where the money has gone and who is taking the margin. There is real frustration on the ground at farm level when farmers see processors cutting prices and then they look at the price in the supermarkets”.
Beef prices have been cut by up to 20% or 80c/kg since this time last year, he stated.
Henry Burns said IFA has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to tackle both the meat factories and the retailers, and insist that they honour the agreement they had with farmers on the QPS and drop their unfair dual pricing, age and weight specification penalties.