23 SEPTEMBER 2019
ICSA has met with senior representatives of ALDI supermarket to outline the pressure faced by Irish beef farmers. According to ICSA president Edmond Phelan, ALDI have committed to co-operating with the Beef Market Task Force which is being set up as an outcome of the beef protest negotiations.
“ICSA welcomes this commitment from ALDI and we are calling on all other main retailers to also engage. ICSA laid it out in very stark terms for ALDI that the future of beef farming in this country is on the line. Beef farmers in Ireland cannot continue to supply beef to retailers at well below the cost of production. Supermarkets need to reflect on the key question of whether the current model is sustainable where farmers are expected to continue to lose money.”
“ICSA also outlined the results to ALDI of the professional survey which RED C conducted on behalf of ICSA. The key finding was that only 1 in 8 consumers attached any importance to beef from animals under 30 months and we have asked ALDI to reflect on the findings.”
“However, we welcome the constructive engagement from ALDI and hope that this is the start of supermarkets facing up to their responsibilities towards suppliers. A business model that does not return a fair margin to anyone on the food chain cannot continue. In the not too distant future, if farmers in Ireland do not get a sustainable price, then supermarkets will end up depending on South American beef where traceability, quality assurance and other in-spec requirements will be ignored.”
“This will be very hard to explain to consumers who have come to expect the standards delivered by Irish farmers. So, it is in the interests of all retailers to now face up to the need to find solutions so that Irish farmers can continue to produce sustainable, grass fed, quality assured beef and achieve economic viability.”