IFA President Joe Healy has recognised moves by some retailers to support Irish field vegetable growers who are facing a financial crisis as a result of the extended drought this summer.
Joe Healy welcomed the statement by SuperValu confirming that they are putting financial supports in place for their existing growers of field vegetable crops.
“IFA recently publicised the challenges facing the agriculture sector due to the prolonged drought, which has created unsustainable business conditions for many farmers. We contacted retailers to highlight that without their intervention, Irish field vegetable growers were at financial breaking point. We acknowledge the lead taken by SuperValu in coming out publicly and stepping up to the mark to put financial supports in place to provide vital relief to their growers.”
IFA pointed out that growers have gone to extraordinary lengths in order to maintain a supply of quality Irish produce to Irish consumers. However, even growers with the best irrigation equipment and full access to water have been unable to deal with the severe soil moisture deficits.
Growers have run up massive extra costs and still are reporting reductions in yield of 20% minimum right up to the loss of entire crops, which have either failed to germinate or perished in the harsh conditions.
The IFA President reported that some other retailers had moved to support growers and he called on all retailers to act without delay by increasing grower returns across the board on all Irish vegetable lines.
“Irish growers are operating on very tight margins, which leave no scope to absorb a crisis like this, and without substantial support from retailers, 2018 will push many of our growers over the edge,” Joe Healy warned.