Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

Chicken growers begin negotiations with Manor Farm

Stalemate: Negotiations are likely to continue
Stalemate: Negotiations are likely to continue
Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

The stalemate between poultry farmers and a top processor continues this week, despite an improved offer from the Manor Farm chicken company.

The Shercock-based company headed up by the Carton brothers, Vincent and Justin, increased their offer by 1c per bird to 40c.

However, suppliers point to the 44-49c/bird being paid by other Irish processors.

According to the chairman of the Manor Farm growers, Patrick McCormack, negotiations are likely to continue for three weeks under a dispute resolution process that all parties have now entered.

"I'd be surprised if any grower handed in their notice to cease supplying Manor Farm before the end of this process," he said.

One of Manor Farm's main competitors, Western Brand, is looking to expand its grower base following a number of profitable years for the Ballyhaunis business.

Employing close to 500, Eugene Lannon's firm recorded pre-profits of over €7m in 2013, after director's fees and pensions of over €573,000 was paid to Mr Lannon and company secretary Claire Lannon.

The company is reported to be investing €12m in an upgrade of its Mayo processing facilities.

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It wants to add another 200,000 birds to its weekly throughput, and is open to developing its grower base in Monaghan and Cavan to boost the 550,000 birds that it currently processes on a weekly basis in Ballyhaunis.


Manor Farm suppliers expressed their dismay about their treatment at last week's grower meeting in Monaghan.

They had been issued with solicitors' letters after informing the company that they did not want to take in day-old chicks for the last crop of the year in September unless they were paid more.

However, the vast majority of Manor Farm growers are prevented from walking away from their processor without a minimum notice of 12 months due to contractual commitments.

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