Poultry farmers supplying broiler chicken to Manor Farm voted ‘No Confidence’ in the CEO of the Manor farm group, Ado Carton, at an online meeting recently.
This unprecedented measure was the culmination of farmers’ frustration due to the failure by Manor Farm to resolve several issues over the past number of months.
Farmers represented by the IFA Manor Farm Grower group have had ongoing engagement with Manor Farm management. They were willing to negotiate and bilaterally reach agreement on many issues concerning the specialised and dedicated role that broiler farmers play in the supply chain of Bord Bia Quality assured chicken to the retail shelf and the Irish consumer.
The failure to adequately and satisfactorily deal with these issues led to enormous frustration among the group.
Some of the issues which have led to this vote of no confidence include:
- Manor Farm Growers looked for support from Manor Farm to implement a contingency fund, but found no support from the company management. The fund was sought in light of recent and recurring disease pressures associated with poultry. Manor Farm CEO, Ado Carton, took the option to pursue a national fund model despite being told the growers did not support that model.
- Demand for Bord Bia quality assured chicken has soared in the past 15 months under COVID-19 restrictions. This increased demand should have seen production and throughput on Manor Farm broiler farms increased to match demand. However, the opposite occurred without justification from Manor Farm management. This decision, which the Manor Farm CEO is ultimately responsible for, has reduced the financial viability of every farmer in the supply chain.
- Of significant concern to the IFA Manor Farm Growers is how Manor Farm management, led by CEO Ado Carton, has dealt with unfounded allegations of unauthorised medication use in the rearing of broilers. IFA, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) and an independent poultry veterinary specialist are satisfied that there is no evidence of unauthorised antibiotic use following their investigations on the farms of the growers in question.
- It is understood that a failure to resolve this dispute could have the potential to leave a shortage of fresh Bord Bia Irish chicken on supermarket shelves.
The ‘no confidence’ vote, which the farmers overwhelmingly supported, has been communicated to Scandi Standard head office, Stockholm Sweden.