WATCH: Farmers accuse meat processors and retailers of 'grabbing all the profits' 

WATCH: Farmers accuse meat processors and retailers of 'grabbing all the profits' 
Farmers demonstrating outside the Lidl distribution centre in Charleville.

Farmers have accused meat processors and retailers of 'grabbing all the profits' as the Irish Farmers Association blockade a Lidl distribution centre in north Cork.

Up to 30 farmers gathered at the centre in Ballyhea from 7am for a 12-hour protest as part of a campaign by farmers to secure an increase in prices for beef cattle. 

It follows a similar action by the IFA yesterday at an Aldi distribution centre in Kildare.

IFA president Joe Healy said such actions will continue unless a price increase is announced.

Farmers demonstrating outside the Lidl distribution centre in Charleville.
Farmers demonstrating outside the Lidl distribution centre in Charleville.

Lorries pulling up to the gate of the centre were denied entry.

"Retailers have a powerful grip on the food chain and cannot shirk their responsibility to farmers," Mr Healy said. 

"There is too much buck-passing between processors and retailers in their rush to grab all the profits, leaving farmers in a loss-making situation."

Buttevant farmer John Coughlan, who is running for the IFA presidential election at present, said: "We have seen in the Bord Bia market price tracker that European and British prices have moved on a lot in the last six weeks. 

"We are seeing nearly 50 cent a kilo between the Irish and British price."

In a statement, Lidl Ireland said today: "At Lidl we appreciate the importance of regular and transparent communication with farming representatives and we understand the difficulties faced by many farmers. As recently as last week, Lidl management had constructive discussions with members of both the BPM and the IFA."

The statement added: "He also know that our customers are hugely appreciative of quality Irish produce. For this reason we are supportive of the work of the Beef Taskforce and hope they can make positive progress rapidly in the interest of all parties."

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