Farmers to enter talks with Dunnes Stores and lift protests at stores

ireland
Farmers To Enter Talks With Dunnes Stores And Lift Protests At Stores Farmers To Enter Talks With Dunnes Stores And Lift Protests At Stores
The supermarket chain agreed to enter talks where they will discuss possible price increases to suppliers.
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Olivia Kelleher

Protests by farmers outside Dunnes Stores branches in Cork and Monaghan have been lifted after the supermarket chain agreed to enter talks where they will discuss possible price increases to suppliers.

In Cork access to the Dunnes stores branch in Bishopstown on the southside of the city was limited for a period on Tuesday morning as farmers staged a protest where they called for better prices for their products.

Shortly after 11am today Dunnes Stores agreed to meet with representatives about ever-increasing costs at farm level.

Key issue

IFA President Tim Cullinan said the key issue involves restoring the viability of producers.

“The blockade was about engagement and a phone call came through to our office from Anne Heffernan the managing director of Dunnes Stores. We have agreed to a meeting with Anne and her team at Great George’s Street in Dublin at their head office at five o clock this evening.

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"On the back of that meeting as I always said the blockade would be lifted. We will move on from here. We will go in to negotiations. This is about getting fairness along the food supply chain and getting a margin passed down the line to farmers.”
Mr Cullinane said that farmers are dealing with massive increases in the price of feed, fertiliser and energy.

“We have to get a price increase in the produce from retailers to keep our farmers in business. A number of farmers are considering closing down and going out of business. They are losing substantial amounts of money and that is why we are down here in Cork.

Struggling

"Other retailers have engaged with us with a view to looking at the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in. A little bit of give will keep everyone in business.

"I have had phone calls from farmers myself and they say that they just can’t sustain the costs they are incurring at the moment. We have to get out and fight our case. If Irish consumers want to be able to pick up an Irish chicken or Irish rashers there has to be a price increase on the supply chain.”

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Meanwhile, IFA Poultry Committee Chairman, Nigel Sweetnam, said that farmers cannot survive at current prices.

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“Farmers are looking for 15 cent a chicken and 2 cent an egg. That is to cover the farmers section. The processor has incurred major costs as well. We are faced with escalating costs, and we have no recovery from it. Our biggest issue here is the use of Irish poultry as a loss-leader and the below cost selling of poultry and that can’t be allowed to continue in to the future."

Meanwhile, Irish Pigs Chairman Roy Gallie told Cork’s 96FM that pig farmers also need retailers and the Government to step up.

“Pig farmers are in a vice-like grip with feed price increases on one side and falling prices on the other. In all business communication is key. If we have good communication we will be able to sort any problems with have. My father in his day sat outside Dáil Éireann to embarrass Charlie Haughey and we are still at it. Having to do it.

"It is very serious. The average pig farmer stands to lose close to half a million pounds between the twelve months from last September to this August. The costs incurred on pig farmers for feed have gone through the roof. We are bearing a huge cost which is leaving us unsustainable. The price we get for our pigs is not paying for even the food we feed them.”

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