ABP importing Polish beef deemed ‘a new low’

On Friday last, April 3, the news broke that beef-processing giant ABP has supplied 400t of Polish beef to Sainsbury and Asda in the UK.

This development has been blasted by farm organisations here in Ireland, at a time when prices are under severe downward pressure amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) beef chairman Edmund Graham has slammed the ABP Group for bringing in Polish beef to meet shortages at Asda and Sainsburys, while simultaneously trying to drive down price paid to Irish farmers.

He called on Irish farmers to point blank refuse to accept beef prices as low as €3.40-3.50/kg.

“It is utterly unacceptable to cut prices 10c/kg while leaving supermarket shelves in the UK short of beef,” he said.

Also Read: Retailers slammed for importing 400t of Polish meat during Covid-19 boom

‘A new low’

Continuing, Graham said: “They are doing the same thing to their UK farmer suppliers and the ICSA is urging the British public to put pressure on Asda and Sainsburys for such shoddy treatment of the farmers who consistently supply quality assured beef.

“We are talking here about two supermarket groups that are normally large customers for Irish beef. There is no shortage of Irish beef so why has ABP allowed this market opportunity to be missed?

“Why have they shown contempt for Irish farmers whose hard work has made billionaires out of their owners?

This is a new low at a time when everyone else in the country is working together.

“What kind of people would deliberately suck money out of Irish rural economies by disrupting the normal supply chain for Asda and Sainsburys?,” he questioned.

Mr Graham has called for a unified approach from all farm organisation in Ireland and the UK.

“Not one farmer should supply cattle this week to ABP at a reduced price. There is no reason whatsoever for price cuts as has become abundantly clear by this cynical move.

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“It is high time that ABP and other processors abandoned their disgraceful ongoing strategy to drive down price to farmers,” he concluded.

Since then, ABP has responded to criticism over supplies of Polish beef to UK retailers.

The processor cited an “unprecedented increase in demand” caused by panic buying as the reason for supplying beef from Europe, including Poland, to the retailers in question.