Farmers Cannot Bear the Cost of Retailers’ Price Cuts

IFA President Francie Gorman said the brunt of retail campaigns to cut prices on beef, chicken, lamb and pork cannot land on farmers.

“These campaigns, regardless of what the retailers say, will have negative consequences for farmgate prices. We cannot allow this to happen,” he said.

Consumers are entitled to the best quality produced meat, dairy, fruit & vegetable and fish, which are sustainably produced to the highest standards as set and audited by Bord Bia.

“This high-quality food has a cost. Retailers and processors in the food supply chain, including our dairy co-ops, meat factories and fruit & vegetable consolidators must be cognisant of the primary producer and their need for a sustainable economic return,” he said.

IFA has engaged with all main retailers, and particularly the two discounters, Lidl and Aldi, about the need for farmers to be properly compensated from the food chain and warned these retailers that they cannot exploit their dominant position. This time of year has the highest cost for most food production.

IFA pointed out in these meetings that price campaigns designed to attract footfall into their stores are very damaging and ultimately undermines the value of what farmers produce.

The retail grocery market in Ireland is dominated by five major retailers, controlling 92% of the market. This dominance of the market by such a small number of retailers has led to a major imbalance in buying power and this must be addressed.

The Agri-Food Regulator (An Rialálaí Agraibhia) has an important and very urgent role to play in exposing where the margin goes in the food chain and potential profiteering by big retailers at the expense of farmers.

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