Poultry producers protest outside supermarkets

A number of protests were held outside supermarkets in counties Cavan and Monaghan today (Wednesday, February 13), organised by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

At the protests, all stakeholders in the poultry industry, including retailers and wholesalers who sell chicken, were called on to recognise the rising costs of producing chicken by the farm body.

Voicing the calls, IFA poultry chairman Andy Boylan said: “Poultry farmers are growing chicken to the highest standards – that our processors, retailers, Bord Bia and the Irish consumer all demand.

We have seen the input costs of growing broilers increase by up to 30% in the past two years. This model of production has become unsustainable and farmer’s need to recover these increased costs.

The IFA has highlighted that chicken farming is, by its nature, a high-cost, low-margin business, adding that chicken farmers constantly strive to make their farms more efficient while maintaining the high standards required of them by their processors and supermarket multiples.

Irish chicken is fully traceable from the hatching egg right through to the dinner plate, the IFA contends.

Irish chicken is Bord Bia quality approved, has a low carbon footprint, offers value for money and above all is what Irish consumers want to buy. However, without a recovery of costs, it may not be available into the future, Boylan contended.

Today’s demonstration by Monaghan and Cavan based poultry farmers was organised to highlight the urgent need for farmers cost of production to be recognised and recovered in the production chain.

This afternoon’s action follows on from a protest led by the IFA Poultry Committee outside a Kerry Foods production facility in Co. Wicklow last Friday (February 8).

Last week’s protest was aimed at highlighting the “misleading labelling” of chicken products that were imported into Ireland, the association claims.

Boylan said that all retailers need to support Bord Bia Quality Assured chicken, offering it to consumers at a fair price that recognises the costs of production.