IFA president Joe Healy has accused Dunnes Stores of being part of a “race to the bottom" with its discounting policy.
Healy believes that this strategy has a direct and negative impact on the prices farmers receive for their produce.
As part of the campaign for higher beef prices, the IFA has blockaded the ‘goods in’ depot at Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt in Dublin.
The protest follows action at the other main retailers late last week and week seeking an increase in Irish beef prices which are now well behind the Bord Bia export benchmark price and the UK price.
‘Cloud cuckoo land’
“Dunnes Stores has no problem in discounting their beef by 40%. Worse, Dunnes thinks it’s not a problem for farmers.”
“If anybody believes the retailer takes the full hit in these discounting campaigns, they are living in cloud cuckoo land.”
The farm organisation made a submission for stronger retail legislation, including the establishment of an independent regulator, earlier this week.
“It cannot happen soon enough, assuming the Government is prepared to stand up and take on the powerful interests which dominate the food chain.” the IFA president stressed.
Significant beef price increase
Joe Healy said that Irish farmers are overdue a significant beef price increase.
The latest Bord Bia Beef Price Index shows that the gap between Irish prices and our main export markets has widened again.
It now stands at 21c/kg, up from 20c/kg the previous week; this gap has increased from 5c/kg in mid-October to 21c/kg last week.
“The facts are the factories have pocketed these market improvements over the last five to six weeks and the Bord Bia Price Index proves this,” he said.
“Factories don’t have to wait for ‘price-setting Friday’ as stated by ABP in their press release last week.”
“They should increase prices today and we are driving home the message to retailers. “Tell your suppliers to treat farmers fairly,” he concluded.
Image source: IFA \ Website