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Poultry Growers and Egg Producers Demand Fair Prices

16 April 2013

IRELAND - Members of the IFA National Poultry Committee protested outside poultry processors and egg packing stations to highlight the plight of producers, and the failure of retailers and processors to pay them a price that covers their costs and gives them a margin to live on.

IFA National Poultry Chairman Alo Mohan said: "We have to highlight the difficulties on poultry farms. The situation is so serious on some poultry farms that soon they will have no option but to close their doors indefinitely. This will result in chicken being sourced from countries which do not meet our standards, and jobs and economic activity will be lost.

"Customers of Irish chicken, in the retail and processing sector, must now address this issue urgently for poultry meat and eggs. All that is required to secure the future of Irish chicken is 7c/bird and 1c/egg passed from retailer directly back to producer. At present, farmers get as little as 35c per bird and 10c per egg.

"In general, Irish supermarkets carry a large quantity of Bord Bia Quality Assured Chicken, but producers have not secured any increase to cover increased costs of production. Input prices have rocketed and although the processors have received some increase through the chain, the farmer has received nothing at all. This is causing severe hardship on farms.

"Over the last number of years, many poultry factories have closed down and farmers have lost considerable sums of money in the resulting liquidations. The closures have forced producers into supply contracts with processors that are completely inequitable in an effort to stay in production. The retailers know how desperate the processors are to maintain market share and use this opportunity to engage in price wars setting Irish poultry suppliers at each other’s throats. Processors, although the weaker party, have played their part by acquiescing to the demands of retailers and continually pushing the cost increases back on producers.

"Irish farmers cannot continue to produce high quality product at prices that are below the cost of production. Retailers will have to start dealing directly with the producers as they have done in the past; the time of shirking responsibility has passed."

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