Dunmoe dairy farmer, Pat Coogan joined last week’s protest.

‘Stores are making a profit at our loss’... Navan farmer says incomes have been slashed due to plummeting prices

A DAIRY farmer from Dunmoe who took part in a local demonstration last week in solidarity with farmers across Europe says more than half of his income has been wiped out due to plummeting prices

Pat Coogan says his income has been slashed by 55 percent amid the price war among supermarkets and that regulations and red tape is making it impossible to operate.

His comments follow a slew of protests in France, a major agricultural producer, by farmers angry about incomes and environmental policies that they say undermine their ability to compete with other countries.

As part of their protests, farmers there have partly blocked access to Toulouse airport in southwestern France and also motorways near Paris.

The French protests follow similar action in other European countries, including Germany and Poland.

Meath IFA members took action on Friday by holding a tractor protest at Navan Retail Park on the Athboy Road that around 100 local farmers attended.

“From March 2023 milk dropped from about 69 cent per litre to 32 cent per litre and I carried that burden all the way to December 2021,” said the dairy farmer.

“55 percent of my income is completely wiped out. Right now for December milk, we are getting 40.08 cent per litre and the other day, there was milk in the shop for €1.67 that's €1.27 of a difference, all of these stores are making a profit at our loss.

“When you push a person too far, they react, we are being pushed into a corner all of the time.

“All the government want is cheap food and they don't care where it comes from, how it gets there, as long as it's there to keep people quiet.”

The dairy farmer says the industry has been forced to take action.

“I always found over the years never go to war or block a bridge unless your cause is just and explain to people why you are doing what you are doing,” said Pat.

“Because it we don't stand up and fight we won't be there and no one will get fed and if you do it will be imported stuff with no regulations.

“We are not advocating for the price of food to go through the roof but supermarkets will give you nothing until they get their full margin and increase their profits and their profits have to go into billions not millions.”