Updated: IFA grain protests lifted outside Glanbia

The Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Grain Committee has removed its blockades outside Glanbia gates in Portlaoise and Clonroche, AgriLand understands.

The news comes as talks between the sides – which continued into the early hours of this morning, Friday, October 11, and throughout the last number of days – yielded an agreement between the parties.

A large focus of this agreement is thought to be on a strategic plan.

AgriLand understands that members will receive an increase of €5/t on feed wheat and €3/t on feed barley and non-members will receive an increase of €1/t on both feed wheat and barley.

There is also a possibility of a market review.

Farmers had been protesting outside of Glanbia in Portlaoise since last Friday, October 4, and Clonroche, Co. Wexford, since Saturday, October 5.

That blockade was lifted today, October 11.

Background to the protests

The IFA Grain committee had described the base price offered to farmers for wheat and barley by Glanbia as “dire”.

Before the blockades started the IFA stated: “Farmers are furious over the recent grain price release from Glanbia and are refusing to accept it.”

Mark Browne, chairperson of the IFA’s Grain Committee, added that: “There is scope in the market to pay higher prices for Irish grains, as other merchants have committed to more sustainable prices in order to support Irish grain producers.”

Glanbia issued a strong defence to the IFA’s protests saying: “Glanbia Ireland is providing farmers highly competitive pricing and sales options for their grain harvest which are unmatched in the industry.

“However, given that 35-40% of the Glanbia harvest crop was purchased through premium contract arrangements with farmers, the average actual payment to farmers for barley is €166/t across all contracts,” a Glanbia statement argued.

“As the largest buyer and user of native Irish grains, Glanbia Ireland’s intake of native Irish grain this harvest was over 200,000t, 40% ahead of last year and well ahead of the 24% growth in the national harvest,” it added.

Glanbia also said that it had extended the closing date to October 18 for the ‘Farmers Own Stock’ scheme “in order to facilitate additional growers that may wish to participate”.

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