Andy Boylan and Brendan Soden, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the IFA Poultry Committee, have condemned the decision of Riverview Eggs to cease trading with three egg farmers in recent weeks.
Three farmers who depend on egg production to support their families were given no warning of this unilateral action by Riverview Eggs. They were informed on a Friday that their eggs were no longer required, with immediate effect.
These farmers had been supplying Riverview Eggs for decades and made significant investments to develop their business to meet the production demands from Riverview Eggs, and to surpass the Department of Agriculture and Bord Bia standards.
Brendan Soden, Vice-Chairman of the IFA Poultry Committee and egg producer from Co. Cavan said that IFA is getting legal advice as there is an obvious breach of contract by Riverview Eggs to their suppliers, but the immediate concern is the complete loss of income due to this action.
Riverview Eggs based in Watergrasshill, Co Cork are members of the Irish Egg Association (IEA), a representative group of the egg packing industry, The Irish Egg Association (IEA) must stand up and take responsibility for this indefensible action by Riverview eggs.
Some of the reasons behind the decision taken to drop suppliers without notice can be associated with poor market demand, COVID-19-related; oversupply; and retail tenders not offering long-term contracts. However, this in no way excuses this deplorable action. Three families were left in total shock at this devastating decision after years of co-operative trading with Riverview Eggs.
The IFA Poultry Committee is calling on Riverview Eggs and the Irish Egg Association (IEA) to act immediately to rectify the situation. Longer-term solutions to protect poultry farmers supplying eggs must be put in place. The implementation of a retail Ombudsman with statutory powers of enforcement will help to ensure sustainable production throughout the egg supply chain.