IFA President John Bryan has lashed out at the retail sector which continues to increase margins, while refusing to address the rising costs of production impacting across all sectors – pig, poultry, beef, milk and egg producers – as world grain market prices soar.
“Retailers had better deal with this issue urgently as hundreds of farm businesses are making significant losses while supermarkets enjoy margins of over 40% on their produce.”
In a clear warning to the retail sector, he said producer prices must increase immediately as thousands of local, on-farm jobs are in jeopardy. John Bryan said retail bosses have a responsibility to ensure that a fair price is returned to primary producers. “A clear example of the rip-off is the price of pork. Pig producers are getting €1.34/kg and it sells for €7 on the supermarket shelves.”
IFA National Poultry Chairman Alo Mohan said retailers which do not support Irish products are putting thousands of jobs at risk. “Some retailers are currently sourcing over 80% of their chicken products from outside of the Republic, while controlling almost one third of the retail shelf space. Irish consumers want to support local producers, but they are not being given the opportunity to purchase Irish.”
IFA Pigs Committee Chairman Tim Cullinan said, “Irish consumers are unwittingly supporting the destruction of jobs in local towns where too many retailers are competing viciously for market share.<span> Stores are now selling pig meat products below the cost of production and risking Irish food production to boost their own profits.”</span>
“When input costs for primary production increased in the past, the food chain including farmers and retailers absorbed the increased costs. However, although feed prices have increased at primary level by over 30%, retailers continue to profit while producers go broke.”