IFA had a clear message for Lidl and for all retailers: that cut-price promotions are very damaging, and ultimately undermine the value of what farmers produce.
“Selling a 1.9kg chicken for €3.49 disrupts consumer patterns and does have a cost. To suggest otherwise is utterly disingenuous. Some retailers have recognised the very severe income difficulties at the moment and they have increased their prices,” he said.
The vast majority of Irish poultry, both chicken and eggs, is sold on the retail shelves in Ireland. As an important player in the retail sector, Lidl committed to proactively engage with their suppliers and have recognised that costs of production have risen exponentially.
Following the meeting, President Tim Cullinan said that Lidl listened to the concerns of poultry farms and committed to further engagement with their suppliers.
The drastic financial situation facing the pig and horticultural sectors was also discussed. Similar commitments were given by Lidl management that they will engage with their suppliers around the very serious challenges facing these sectors.
The IFA Poultry Chairman Nigel Sweetman said the Government’s inaction on retail legislation has created this situation and that every link in the supply chain needs a price increase. “This heavy discounting of chicken has significant consequences for producers. Unless we have robust regulation of retailers, we will see more and more farmers going to the wall.”
The cost of gas, energy, labour and animal feed have all seen inflation rise significantly. Irish inflation shot to a 14-year high in October, which has had a damaging effect on the sector.
Vice Chairman of the Poultry Committee Brendan Soden said farmers are very concerned about their future as the price has decreased in the past 12 months.