IFA will continue its protests outside Dunnes Stores in Cork and Monaghan overnight and until the retailer agrees to meet IFA and discuss price increases to suppliers to address rising costs at farm level.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said Dunnes Stores cannot continue to ignore the very difficult situation at farm level. He said that Dunnes key management hadn’t even acknowledged IFA’s request for a meeting.
“Farmers are resolute. We received strong support from shoppers today. They recognise the quality food they are buying and they are willing to pay a price that covers the cost of that,” he said.
Tim Cullinan called for Minister McConalogue to step in and believes the Government’s inaction on retail legislation has left farmers without any power in the food chain.
“The Minister’s comments today that retailers should not sell food below the cost of production are welcome, but he now needs to walk the walk and make this part of his new Bill on the long promised food regulator,” he said.
IFA Poultry Chairman Nigel Sweetnam said that other retailers have met with IFA and acknowledged the issue of rising costs, but they too need to act.
“We cannot survive at current prices. We are looking for 15c a chicken and 2c an egg,” he said.
IFA Pigs Chairman Roy Gallie said that pig farmers too need retailers and the Government to step up.
“Pig farmers are in vice like grip with feed price increases on one side and falling prices on the other,” he said.