IFA Calls for Higher Poultry Returns02 May 2013
IRELAND - The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has warned the main supermarket chains that higher returns to chicken and egg producers were urgently needed if local units were to survive.
Independent.ie reports that members of the association's national poultry committee met with retailers last week to highlight what they described as "the desperate plight" of producers.
IFA poultry chairman, Alo Mohan, said farmers were at their "wits end" and retailers had to decide if they wanted to be able to offer their consumers an Irish product or if they were happy to stock their shelves solely with imports.
Mr Mohan pointed out that broiler producers hadn't secured "one single cent" of a price increase since 2006, even though input costs had "increased exponentially" in that period.
He said the future of the industry was now dependent on a tiny increase of 7c/bird and 1c/egg for producers to cover their costs and make a margin.
"We have already met with Aldi and Dunnes Stores and we want to see some constructive dialogue between the retailers and their suppliers, the processors and packers," he said.
Pointing out that retailers had "responsibilities to primary producers", Mr Mohan said Irish farmers could not afford to continue to produce high quality product at prices that were below the cost of production.
Last week's meetings follow on from a series of IFA demonstrations outside of poultry processors and egg packing stations.
The ICSA has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to allow farmers to hand in their single farm payment (SFP) applications to their local DVOs, as the deadline for submitting the form looms.
ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin said such a concession would alleviate some of the pressure farmers were under at the moment.
"While many will use the online service, it is simply not a viable option for a significant proportion of the farming community," Mr Gilmartin said.
"Farmers need a Department office within a realistic commutable distance for applications as crucial and complex as the SFP."ThePoultrySite News Desk