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Dec 5, 2019 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments


 ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham has said that supermarkets cannot ignore their responsibilities for the low beef price. “Supermarkets cannot continue to profit on the back of low prices. While a lot of retailers like to boast about supporting Irish farmers, the reality is they are exploiting them if they are buying at below the cost of production. It is now time to call out the ethics of selling beef while farmers lose their shirt. All retailers need to insist that they only sell products that have been bought for a fair price for the primary producer. A fair price is far more than €3.50/kg.”

“ICSA met with senior representatives from ALDI in September where we robustly outlined the losses faced by farmers, and they committed to engaging with the Beef Taskforce. However, this issue is not just about one retailer; it is about all multinational retailers operating in all the main EU markets. Retailers know well that their aggressive price cutting strategies are having horrendous impact on the viability of farmers all across Europe. Beef and sheep farmers are hit particularly hard and the level of depression and frustration among farm families is palpable.”

“Some retailers love to boast about fair trade coffee. It is a shame that they don’t have the same sense of guilt about what their market power and pricing is doing to farmers in Europe.”

“It is manifestly clear that there is no reason why beef price should remain stuck at €3.50/kg when markets all over the globe are taking off, partly driven by the massive deficit in pork in China arising from African Swine Fever. The Bord Bia Beef Market Price Index shows clearly that Irish prices should be rising. Meanwhile, ICSA research into retail values of beef show that retailers and processors can share €1,512 mark-up before costs on a heifer for which the farmer got paid €1,228.

“ICSA raised the issue of the need for more transparency around who makes what from the food chain at the Global Food Forum in Brussels this week. It is not acceptable that so little is known about who makes what from the food chain after product leaves the farm. There has to be transparency in the food chain and this will have to be sorted at national and EU level.”

“However, it is a matter of corporate social responsibility and ethics to return a fair price to producers and it is clear this is not happening at the moment.”


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