Greencore growers in Westbury protest
Calls for a total boycott of Minch Malt were rejected at a growers meeting in Carlow last week, but farmers are to protest in Dublin today outside a Greencore EGM at the Westbury Hotel.
The EGM is expected to ratify the sale of Minch and Greencore's British and Belgian malting businesses to French giant Axereal.
Confirmation that Minch will not renew malting barley contracts for more than 600 growers prompted the boycott call at the Carlow meeting.
There was an angry farmer response to the Minch Malt decision, particularly since many growers had not been contacted by the company.
Talks are continuing between Minch and the IFA regarding the allocation of the new contracts, a fixing of the price and the issue of a 'goodwill' payment for those farmers who have lost contracts.
It had been suggested that four criteria would determine the allocation of new grower contracts. These were the quality of malting barley delivered in the past, credit risk, location and viability.
But speakers at the meeting claimed contracts were being issued on an arbitrary basis and the absence of transparency in the process was criticised.
The withdrawal of contracts from smaller producers also sparked an angry response. "Is the cutting out of the small man being accepted by the meeting?" one angry speaker asked.