Poultry chairman Andy Boylan said that all stakeholders involved in the processing and retailing of poultry meat and eggs needed to recognise the increased costs of production.
He said that Bord Bía chicken and eggs produced by farmers to the highest quality standards and in an environmentally sustainable fashion, needed to be produced in a financial sustainable manner and without “adequate remuneration”, farmers could not continue producing chicken and eggs.
Boylan said that Irish poultry farmers wanted to continue to produce chicken and expand production to meet market demand. “All farmers want is to have a margin left after covering their costs of production”, he said. “Chicken feed costs have increased dramatically in 2018, as have energy costs, labour and the general cost of doing business. This needs to be recouped. The farmer can only negotiate with their direct processors, but the issue is wider than simply the farmer and factory manager haggling over price.”
Boylan suggested that retailers that ultimately sold chicken to the consumer needed to recognise the true costs of sustainable production.
“Continuously discounting and special offers on chicken have to be halted, as it undermines everything that a chicken farmer does on a daily basis.”
Boylan added that poultry producer groups were requesting urgent meetings with their processors and egg packers, to renegotiate current agreements, which had been in place for three years and now needed to be upgraded for farmers.