Farmers picket Musgrave

Irish Farmers Association (IFA) president Padraig Walshe said the retail price war is already "impacting negatively" on farm incomes
Irish Farmers Association (IFA) president Padraig Walshe said the retail price war is already "impacting negatively" on farm incomes

Over 500 angry farmers picketed outside wholesaler Musgrave's Kilcock facility, following its announcement of another €86m price reduction campaign



8 July 2009 | 0

Share this post:



The week of going to press, tensions between Irish producers and the retail sector escalated as over 500 farmers blockaded Musgrave’s Kilcock distribution centre in Co Kildare. Irish Farmers Association (IFA) president Padraig Walshe said the action reflected "the deep anger and frustration over collapsing farm incomes as a result of the dominant position of the supermarket multiples," and the anti-competitive business envirnment Irish farmers are currently enduring.

"This retail price war is already impacting negatively on farm incomes and unless the Government takes immediate action to address this issue and improve our competitiveness, it will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the Irish food processing sector. The supermarket bosses would have consumers believe that the reductions are coming from the supermarkets own bottom line. They’re fooling nobody. The reality is that it’s off the backs of Irish farmers and Irish jobs," Walshe said.

The protest came to Musgrave following its announcement of €86 million worth of price cuts for the Supervalu group, bringing the cost of an "average trolley of goods" down by 23%. The new campaign brings the total value of Supervalu price cuts to €200 million for the year.

Walshe criticised Musgrave and retailers including Dunnes Stores for claiming to support Irish growers and Irish jobs, while the price received by lamb producers "has fallen by over 20% in the last month, leaving them with no income." Walshe said that lamb processors "lay the blame at the doorstep of the retail multiples" and accused them of sourcing many of their food products outside the Republic of Ireland.

Musgrave said that is was "surprised" by the protest, as the company recently met with Walshe and Pat Smith, IFA general secretary and CEO, and that talks were ongoing. The group said that it is "as ever, operating an open door policy with farming representatives." Musgrave also stated that its campaigns are "not funded at the expense of Irish farmers," but is co-funded by the company and its retail partners.



Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑