Farmers protest outside Dunnes Stores depot over beef prices

IFA president Joe Healy claims retailer’s discounts hurt producers’ incomes

IFA president Joe Healy leads a blockade at the Dunnes Stores goods depot at Cornelscourt in Dublin. Photograph:  Finbarr O’Rourke

IFA president Joe Healy leads a blockade at the Dunnes Stores goods depot at Cornelscourt in Dublin. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

 

Farmers protested outside the Dunnes Stores depot in Dublin on Wednesday as part of their ongoing protest over beef prices.

The picket, organised by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), followed demonstrations outside the Musgrave distribution centre on Tuesday and outside the Tesco central distribution centre in Dublin on Monday. Farmers also blockaded the Lidl and Aldi distribution centres last week.

Protesters gathered at the “Goods in” depot in Cornelscourt at 7am on Wednesday for their fifth day of picketing.

IFA president Joe Healy criticised Dunnes Stores for discounting their beef, adding that it negatively affects farmers.

“Dunnes Stores has no problem in discounting their beef by 40 per cent. Worse, Dunnes thinks it’s not a problem for farmers,” Mr Healy said.

“If anybody believes the retailer takes the full hit in these discounting campaigns, they are living in cloud cuckoo land.”

The IFA is calling for stronger retail legislation, including the establishment of an independent regulator who will “take on the retail bosses”.

“It cannot happen soon enough, assuming the Government is prepared to stand up and take on the powerful interests which dominate the food chain,” Mr Healy added.

The IFA has said that Irish farmers are “overdue” a significant beef price increase.

“The latest Bord Bia Beef Price Index shows that the gap between Irish prices and our main export markets has widened again. It now stands at 21c/kg, up from 20c/kg the previous week,” Mr Healy said.

“The facts are the factories have pocketed these market improvements over the last five to six weeks and the Bord Bia Price Index proves this. Tell your suppliers to treat farmers fairly.”

Dunnes Stores has been contacted for comment.

The IFA has also warned that protests will continue until they see a substantial price increase for beef.