Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Brian Stanley TD has, today raised with the Tánaiste, startling new information that supermarkets are taking up to 50% of all profits made on fresh meat.
This news follows several days of protests by the IFA outside a number of high-profile retailers.
The TD said that the leaked information would support the argument that it is not "only factories taking advantage of beef farmers but also large supermarket chains".
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Stanley, said: "This leaked information that reveals supermarkets are pocketing between 33-45% of the retail price of meat is damning evidence that beef farmers are being robbed."
He noted that three large supermarket chains make up 75% of the retail market in Ireland, adding that they "dominate the industry by taking advantage of a lack of price transparency in the supply chain".
'Losing 60-70c on every kilo produced'
Thanks to these documents, he said farmers now know exactly how much of the retail price that supermarkets are taking for themselves and it is almost 50% in some instances. "Farmers are losing 60-70c on every kilo produced."
"This is completely unacceptable when you consider that farmers rear animals for two or three years while the supermarket has it for two or three days. Where is the justice in that?"
"Much of the focus of the past while has been on factories and the fact that there is one big player dominating the supply chain, but what we also need to recognise is that at the other end you have three large supermarket chains dominating retail and taking the lion share of the profits.
He called for full price transparency throughout the supply chain. "We need to know what the supermarkets are paying the factories for produce," he concluded.