“Selling a 1.9kg chicken for €3.49 is grossly irresponsible and has the potential to lead to a price war that producers will ultimately pay for,” he said.
IFA Poultry Chairman Andrew Boylan is leading a protest of poultry growers at Lidl in Cavan town and Monaghan town this morning.
“Some retailers have recognised the very severe income difficulties at the moment and they have increased the price of chicken on the shelf. Yet Lidl has pulled the price, which shows the complete disregard they have for producers,” he said.
Andrew Boylan said the Government’s inaction on retail legislation has created this situation. “This race to the bottom will have 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 not witnessed by the sector in half a generation. Irish inflation shot to a 14-year high in October, which has had a damaging effect on the sector,” he said.
Vice Chairman of the Poultry Committee Brendan Soden said farmers are very concerned about their future. The EU average price for eggs has increased by 13.2% in the past year. However, Ireland is one of only two Member States where the price has actually decreased in the past 12 months with a drop of 8.4% in Irish egg prices. On the input side, feed costs have increased by 36% on last year, which is completely unsustainable.
Andy Boylan said growers are suffering and losing money. “Without an immediate increase in the wholesale retail price, to be passed back to egg and chicken producers, the entire sector is in jeopardy. We produce top quality, Bord Bia QA produce, at prices which are not sustainable. We intend to highlight the absolute necessity for our costs to be recovered from the food chain immediately.”