Poultry producers seek payment by weight, not by classification

30 January 2019, at 12:00am

IRELAND - IFA’s Poultry Chairman Andy Boylan has called on retailers to pay poultry producers for their products by weight, not by classification

Under the current arrangement, chickens are classified as small, medium and large and poultry farmers are paid a set price, depending on the weight scale a bird falls within. This works to the advantage of retailers and means producers are losing out financially.

IFA’s Poultry Chairman, Andy Boylan said, “The current system essentially results in retailers getting up to 200 grams for free on certain birds. This is completely unacceptable at a time when poultry producers are struggling with increased production costs.”

“If we look at other meats, such as beef, retailers charge customers by weight for the product. It’s transparent, in that if you ask for 800 grams of mince, the butcher weighs it and you pay for 800 grams. This does not happen with poultry. A small chicken is classified as weighing between 1100-1300 grams. Retailers pay poultry producers a flat price, regardless of the weight of the bird. I know from my own facility that it’s impossible to keep a bird at an exact weight of 1100 grams, which means retailers often end up getting product for free. This has to change. Chicken feed costs have increased dramatically in 2018, as have energy costs, labour and the general cost of doing business. The retailers that ultimately sell chicken to the consumer need to recognise the true costs of sustainable production,” said Boylan.

Supermarkets put pressure on producers to produce chicken to a very high Bord Bia standard, and this unfair trading practice has to end, said the IFA.