Imported grain looks to be ‘poor quality’ compared to what Irish farmers produce

Imported grain coming into Foynes Port in Limerick looks to be of “very poor quality” compared to what Irish farmers are producing, according to Liam Dunne, the IFA Grain Chairman.

Some 150 farmers were protesting at Foynes Port in Co.Limerick yesterday over the importation of barley by a number of brokers/importers.

Dunne said that there is a serious situation at the moment where grain prices have collapsed, which is partly due to brokers importing grain from other countries instead of using native grain.

“There’s about 150 farmers out here protesting at how bad things are. We’ve had three years of poor prices and a fourth [year of poor prices] is going to put a lot of people out of business.”

Speaking from the port, Dunne said that the latest shipment had arrived from Ipswich, in Suffolk.

“It looks to be of very poor quality compared to what our farmers are producing. We haven’t a test result on it yet but it looks fairly low quality stuff, probably being bought cheaply.

“The rules of survival are being broken, incomes are being broken – we live in a fairly expensive place to do business in.”

The grain we’re talking about here is for animal feed and the biggest amount of grain we produce goes into the animal sector, we’re capable of producing enough, we don’t need to be importing more.

“What’s happening here is destroying the industry, we’re putting up a battle. The grain market internationally has collapsed to some extent as well.

“We’re seriously disadvantaged compared to out neighbours, out interest rates are higher and our environmental controls are higher than other places in Europe.”

Dunne said that Foynes Port is not the only place grain is being imported and that this is only the start of the campaign. The IFA Grain Chairman said that this can’t continue and that the IFA is going to put a stop to it.