Representatives of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Grain Committee have mounted a protest at the gates of Glanbia Agribusiness Portlaoise Mill, Co. Laois.
The protest began this evening, Friday, October 4, and the IFA’s Grain Committee chairman, Mark Browne has told AgriLand, it will remain in place until a resolution is agreed.
We’re looking for a base price that is fair to the grower and reflects the market. The base price that Glanbia has offered is way off the mark. It’s all about the base price.”
It is understood that approximately 30 farmers will be gathering at the mill however, Browne said “it will probably escalate into bigger numbers as it continues into the night and over the weekend”.
Browne noted that the main flashpoints are “the base prices for feed barley and feed wheat”.
He explained: “The base price for barley needs to be higher and the feed wheat should be at least €10/t more than this”.
Browne noted that the delegation from the IFA had also met with officials from Glanbia earlier this week to seek a “significant uplift in the base price quoted”.
“The full IFA Grain Committee met on Wednesday, October 2, and members were clear that, come what may, there must be a significant move by Glanbia,” he said.
Other buyers of grain have stepped up with a stronger price – it is inexplicable that Glanbia is lagging behind. We recognise that grain markets are challenging, but there is scope to place a higher value on Irish grain.
The chairman added that growers are under “severe pressure” operating below the cost of production.
“The industry has to decide if it wants to support local growers or watch them go to the wall.”
Concluding, he said: “According to official Teagasc figures, even with decent grain yields this season, these base prices will leave tillage farmers operating below the cost of production.”