Following the announcement by the Department of Agriculture that the housing notice on poultry is to be extended until 30th April, IFA Poultry Chairman Nigel Renaghan has called on all stakeholders in the poultry sector to work together to protect the internationally recognised high health status of the national poultry flock.
Nigel Renaghan called on the retail sector to work with the processing industry and put in place alternative labelling arrangements that inform consumers of the situation and comply with marketing regulations.
He said the retail sector must support the free range sector during this difficult period, and give a firm commitment that no reduction in price will be sought for poultry products produced from free range poultry farms.
“All free range production in Ireland come from small, independently-run family farms whose existence will be threatened if there is any reduction in the price they receive for their eggs or broilers.
“Free range production comes with increased costs and requires significant investment in infrastructure over many years. Similar long term investments have been made by the processing industry in marketing the free range poultry products. A significant premium is required to justify the extra costs and standards associated with free range production; these extra costs are in no way removed from the production system due to the current temporary housing restriction.”
Nigel Renaghan said, “The Department of Agriculture has been very proactive in measures taken to protect the national flock and farmers have complied with these restrictions as required. Any attempts to reduce the value of poultry products derived from free range farmers could have a detrimental effect on the long term sustainability of this important sector of Irish agriculture.”