Farmers protest in Cork; ABP plans to increase base price for beef

Farmers protest in Cork; ABP plans to increase base price for beef
Famers protest outside the Lidl Distribution plant in Charleville, Co. CorkPic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

MEAT processor ABP will increase the base price for beef from Monday by at least five cent.

The announcement was made by the company today in a statement which also sharply criticised the Irish Farmers Association for its protests at Aldi and Lidl distribution centres in recent days.

Seamus English at the Famers protest outside the Lidl Distribution plant in Charleville, Co. CorkPic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Seamus English at the Famers protest outside the Lidl Distribution plant in Charleville, Co. CorkPic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

In the statement, the company, founded by Larry Goodman, said: “The price paid by ABP for cattle will always be determined by the prevailing market conditions and those conditions have recently improved. ABP can confirm, as was indicated on Tuesday at the Beef Task Force, that it will increase the base price of cattle for deliveries from next Monday.” 

A spokesman for the company told The Echo that the increase would be at least five cent.

The company is adamant that the increase is unrelated to the actions by IFA members.

The ABP statement said: “The company is at a complete loss to understand why Joe Healy, the outgoing IFA President, pursued a course of irresponsible, disruptive and illegal action at retail distribution centres this week. The Beef Task Force met on Tuesday and Joe Healy and the IFA were fully aware that market indications pointed towards a cattle price increase in Ireland.” 

Farmers protest outside the Lidl Distribution plant in Charleville, Co. CorkPic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Farmers protest outside the Lidl Distribution plant in Charleville, Co. CorkPic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

A spokeswoman for the IFA said that the association had not received any communication from ABP in relation to an increase and farmers were to remain at the Lidl plant until 7pm tonight.

Joe Healy said: "Retailers have a powerful grip on the food chain and cannot shirk their responsibility to farmers. 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 and Munster IFA chairman 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: “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.” 

We 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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