ALDI has committed to co-operating with the Beef Market Taskforce, according to ICSA president, Edmond Phelan.
The farm organisation is calling on other main retailers to engage, stating that supermarkets need to reflect on the “key question” of whether the current model is sustainable where “farmers are expected to continue to lose money”.
“Beef farmers in Ireland cannot continue to supply beef to retailers at well below the cost of production.”
ICSA outlined the results to Aldi of the professional survey which RED C conducted on behalf of the farm lobby ground.The key finding was that only 1 in 8 consumers attached any importance to beef from animals under 30 months.
“However, we welcome the constructive engagement from ALDI and hope that this is the start of supermarkets facing up to their responsibilities towards suppliers.”
“A business model that does not return a fair margin to anyone on the food chain cannot continue.”
“In the not too distant future, if farmers in Ireland do not get a sustainable price, then supermarkets will end up depending on South American beef where traceability, quality assurance and other in-spec requirements will be ignored.”
Phelan said that it is in the interests of all retailers to now “face-up to the need to find solutions” so that Irish farmers can continue to produce sustainable, grass-fed, quality assured beef and achieve economic viability.