Commenting on the move ICSA president Edmond Phelan said, “There is still massive demand for beef, both here and in the UK and this statement from Tesco Ireland provides clarity about that. What is less clear is why processors are cutting prices paid to farmers and attempting to further undervalue their produce by cheapening the product.”
“Of course, the price paid for beef is way below the cost of production and this will have to be addressed if consumers are to be guaranteed a long-term supply of quality assured Irish beef. However, in the meantime, ICSA is calling on processors to stop playing games and to sell beef at a proper price and ensure that there is no scarcity of beef at any time, day or night, on supermarket shelves.”
ICSA is now calling on all other major retailers to confirm that they will not be looking for discounted beef at a time when farmers are working hard in difficult conditions to keep the supply chain going. “The statement from Tesco is to be welcomed and it reflects the fact that consumers are very keen for quality Irish livestock products. We want to see other retailers also acknowledge this.”
Following the last meeting of the Beef Taskforce ICSA met with Tesco senior management and an open line of communication remains.
”Tesco have acknowledged the very real pressure that beef farmers are under due to Covid-19. It’s time for our processors to show some solidarity too in these challenging times.”