The protest by pig and poultry members of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) that took place at the Aldi outlet in Cavan town yesterday (Monday, May 23) has now been stood down.
This follows engagement between representatives of the retailer and the IFA, which is understood to have been positive.
It is understood that there was no specific commitment from Aldi to increase prices for pigmeat.
However, there appears to be an understanding between Aldi and the protesters that, if secondary pigmeat processors asked the retailer for a higher price for the produce, then it would pay it.
On foot of that understanding, the decision was taken to stand down the protest.
However, an internal message circulated among IFA members suggests that poultry farmers are “still unsure where they stand”.
For the pig sector, engagement with retailers is set to continue this week, with meetings scheduled between IFA members and representatives of Lidl and Dunnes Stores.
Also yesterday, Tesco and wholesale company Musgrave Group (which owns Centra and SuperValu) committed to increase the price of pigmeat produce on their shelves.
Speaking to Agriland yesterday, IFA Pig Committee chairperson Roy Gallie said: “We have now got Musgrave and Tesco giving commitments to come with us.
“[The two businesses] will put significant price increases on the product on the supermarket shelves,” he said.
“There’s a realisation now that if [we don’t see price increases] we are in trouble.”
While Gallie did not confirm the exact scale of the price increase, he said it was his understanding that it meets the IFA’s call to boost the prices paid to farmers to €2/kg.
Gallie stressed that, despite the envisaged increase from these two retailers, even this price would not allow the average pig farmer to breakeven; for this, the IFA believes around €2.25/kg is needed.
However, he also noted that the European price for pigs generally is not at this level, adding that pig famers will settle on the current increase until such a time as the European price allows for a further increase.