Irish beef farmers turn attention to retailers

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Irish farmers are protesting at Aldi's distribution centre over their share of beef prices (Credit: IFA)
Irish farmers are protesting at Aldi's distribution centre over their share of beef prices (Credit: IFA)

Related tags Ireland Beef Retailers Aldi Livestock Processing and packaging Innovation

Irish beef farmers have instigated a blockade at Aldi’s regional distribution centre in Naas, Co. Kildare.

The farmers launched a 12-hour blockade at the facility earlier this morning (Thursday 5 December) regarding what they feel are poor prices for their cattle.

In a statement provided to Global Meat News, an Aldi spokesperson said: “Aldi is extremely disappointed by today’s Irish Farmers Association (IFA) protest at its Naas Regional Distribution Centre.  We welcomed the resumption of the Beef Taskforce this week and have engaged openly with farmer representative organisations on the beef issue over recent months.

“Aldi is fully committed to co-operating with the Beef Taskforce and met with one of the representative groups, the BPM, as recently as last week to further update our position.  As part of our preparations for the Taskforce, we have initiated research on a wide range of beef products to determine a number of issues. Our work also includes a complete review of procedures and processes with our suppliers to ensure we are meeting all customer and market requirements.

“We remain committed to reporting back through the Taskforce and playing a fulsome role in the process.  Any action outside of this process is short-sighted and not constructive.”

The spokesperson added that there had been no previous dialogue between Aldi and the producers."Aldi has a policy of open communications with all of its stakeholders, including the IFA. To be very clear, Aldi received no request for engagement on this issue from any member of the IFA leadership, no communication about specific concerns about the mechanics of the beef market, including age specification, and no warning of any grievance the IFA had before this morning."

There have been numerous protests at beef processing facilities in Ireland​ over the past few months however some agreement has been reached between processors and beef farmers over the issue​.

One element of the agreement was the creation of a Beef Taskforce that met earlier this week.

Regarding the meeting, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) said there had been “constructive discussion and engagement on the wide range of actions set out in the Irish Beef Sector Agreement”​.

MII said many of the actions, as set out in the Agreement of 15th September, are being progressed, but there remains further work to be done.

It added that “clearly the current cattle price level was a major issue at the meeting, with strong calls from all the farm organisations that prices would improve immediately”​.  MII pledged to relay that message to its members and said there are “green shoots in the market and these should hopefully feed through in terms of positive price developments soon”​.

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