Farmers protest outside McDonald's over beef prices
Published 04/09/2014 | 02:30
Farmers yesterday protested outside a McDonald's restaurant in Kilkenny city to complain about falling prices for their beef.
Irish Farmers Association (IFA) protesters drove tractors and held placards that stated "Beef Prices. We're NOT lovin' it".
IFA president Eddie Downey said farmers felt "betrayed by the unacceptable behaviour and lack of corporate responsibility on the part of the powerful players in the supply chain, including meat factories, retailers and food service outlets like McDonald's, Burger King and Supermacs".
Beef prices are down by €200 a head from last year for farmers already on low incomes, but there had been a lack of progress in resolving price cuts and changes to specifications.
In recent weeks, farmers have held protests over beef prices at Tesco, Lidl and Aldi outlets.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said meat processors had indicated to him this week they were open to flexibility on weight specifications.
McDonald's said it was committed to the Irish beef sector, buying over 40,000 tonnes of it every year - 10pc of Ireland's total output - for use in its outlets in Ireland, Britain and Europe.
"McDonald's has not altered any of its specifications in terms of the cuts of beef it uses in its products and has significantly increased its purchase of Irish beef over the past five years."