Additional reporting by Breifne O’ Brien

Pig and poultry members of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) are currently engaging in a protest at the Aldi outlet in Cavan town this morning (Monday, May 23).

The latest IFA protest follows on from a series of protests in the last number of weeks by the association’s Pig Committee seeking a rise in the prices paid to farmers for pigs to €2/kg by the end of this month.

Now, the IFA’s Poultry Committee has taken to the streets with the pig farmers to seek a price rise for farmers in that sector as well.

The poultry farmers are seeking a price increase of 15c/chicken and 2c/egg.

The protest officially kicked off at 9:30a.m this morning. However, according to the IFA’s social media, farmers began gathering at Aldi in Cavan town at around 4:00a.m.

An internal message circulated to IFA members yesterday said: “Normal price negotiations take place by phone, email or in a meeting room. However, that is not the case for farmers.

“We are not respected and our produce is not valued. We are forced to stand outside and beg for a few cent,” the message added.

“That must change so we get a fair price for our produce, but in the meantine we’re left with little choice but to protest outside retailers and processors to ensure our very survival.”

The internal IFA message told members: “These protests do work. They open doors and get meetings.”

The message notes that no particular finishing time is envisaged for the protest.

Speaking to Agriland at the protest, former IFA poultry chairperson Andy Boylan said that the IFA had contacted Aldi a number of times last year on the issue of prices paid to farmers for poultry produce.

He claims that commitments concerning price were given by Aldi in December.

“We had a promise from Aldi that they would look after us. That did not happen, and that’s why we are here today,” he said.

Also at the protest was Pat Murphy, the IFA’s Connacht regional chairperson.

On the pig-price issue, Murphy said: “Pig farmers are losing money. We want to get a bit back from the processors, from the retailers.

“There’s plenty of margin in the whole industry, and farmers need to get some of that. They’re not getting a margin, they’re losing money hand over fist,” Murphy added.