Pig, poultry and egg farmers are continuing to protest outside discount supermarkets Lidl and Aldi in Co. Cavan. (Friday, September 30).

The protesters began their demonstration at 4:00a.m yesterday morning and remained at the site through the night, where they blocked deliveries from entering both stores between midnight and 3:00a.m.

Speaking to Agriland, Brendan Soden of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Poultry Committee said “nothing went into either stores last night, there’s no bread, milk, fruit and veg and some other things”.

“We apologise to the customers who can’t get what they want because Aldi have disregarded us.

“Seemingly they [Aldi] would rather leave their customers without produce than give their suppliers the small amount we’re looking for.”

He added that the group plans to remain outside the stores all day and through the night again, unless the store agrees to meet their demands.

“If they can’t come back with anything concrete to us or a significant amount of what we’re looking for, we’ll have no other option.

“We’re still in the same position that we were in two days ago, we’re still losing money.”

Agriland visited the site of the protests yesterday (Thursday, September 29), and spoke to those on the picket line about the issues they have been experiencing.

The protesters say they have now been losing money for 400 days due to below cost selling, and are calling for an extra 2c per egg, 15c per chicken and 10c per kilo of pork supplied.

A spokesperson for Aldi said that the supermarket is “extremely disappointed” by the IFA’s protest.

“We are hugely frustrated at these developments as they undermine the current ongoing discussions with our suppliers. As always, ALDI Ireland is committed to working with and supporting all of our Irish suppliers.

“We paid higher prices to egg suppliers in June of this year, which represented the largest increases we have ever agreed while we are fully engaged in the most recent round of discussions.”

The spokesperson added that Aldi is looking to shield its customers from current inflationary pressures whilst supporting all of its suppliers. They added:

“We are disappointed that egg producers have taken this approach at a time when we are actively in discussions with our egg suppliers. We are happy to reassert again, our commitment to engagement with suppliers with whom we purchase our eggs from.”

Soden also told Agriland that the group are solely focused on engaging with the discount supermarkets at the moment and do not anticipate protest action with any other retailers.

“Other retailers have engaged with us a lot better, but the discounters seem to be the problem as they want to keep prices down and not pass back what we need.”

Agriland also contacted Lidl for a statement on the matter but at the time of publication, no response had been received.