'Unsustainable discounting of quality beef is a race to the bottom'

Joe Healy. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Joe Healy. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The IFA has told the main retailers that "the unsustainable discounting of top quality Irish beef was a race to the bottom and has to stop".

Speaking at the Beef Taskforce Meeting of farming stakeholders, the IFA President Joe Healy called on retailers and factories to "pass back higher market returns with a significant and immediate price rise for farmers".

However, in a statement Aldi Ireland said the retailer sector only accounts for 6p of the beef produced in Ireland and does not determine the market price of beef.

ICSA President Edmund Phelan said a strong case was made to the retailers that current prices paid to beef producers fall way short of what is required. “It has been made crystal clear that beef farmers cannot continue to produce at below the cost of production."

Following the meeting, Aldi’s Group Buying Director John Curtin, said Aldi is committed to providing Irish consumers with the very best in Irish beef.

"Aldi is committed to ensuring we will always offer our customers the very best in Irish beef. All of our multi-award winning fresh meat, including our beef is 100% Irish, sourced exclusively from Republic of Ireland farms, and Bord Bia Quality Assured.”

This was the second meeting of the Beef Taskforce and saw retailers, meat factories and farm organisations attend. It was set up last year after weeks of protests by farmers over beef prices, attend to discuss the beef market and to develop a sustainable pathway for the future of the beef sector in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability.

At today’s meeting, representatives from Irish retailers engaged with Taskforce members on market and customer requirements, specifically in relation to the in-spec bonus criteria currently in operation for the Irish beef sector.  They also committed to engaging with the independent review of these requirements which has been commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

This was followed by a detailed discussion on the Quality Payment System Grid, carcass classification and producer organisations, as well as a market update report.

Online Editors