RETAIL giant Tesco has come under direct fire from the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) for repeatedly ignoring its calls for a greater share of profits from consumer goods sales.
IFA president John Bryan has accused Tesco of dismissing the concerns of primary producers by claiming that retailers have no responsibility for losses made by farmers. The farm group leader said this stance was aggravating farmers, especially given the “superprofits” being reported by the retail chain.
John Bryan said: “This crystallises the fundamental problem where the multiples continue to pillage massive profits out of the food supply chain at the expense of primary producers. Pig producers are getting less than 20% of the consumer price for pork and bacon. This is intolerable when the multiples are reporting super-profits and producers are being forced out of business with poor prices.”
He called on Tesco chiefs to take responsibility for their price actions and pass back realistic prices to producers.
Mr Bryan added: “The supermarkets are always keen to stress the importance of local producers in their marketing campaigns. It is time to match those words with action. Retailers are facing a showdown as primary producers from the white meat and fresh produce sectors are being robbed of a livelihood by unsustainable prices.”
IFA Pigs Committee chairman Tim Cullinan hit out strongly at processors who seem oblivious to the catastrophic consequences of failing to return realistic prices to producers. The price from the marketplace must increase by 16 cent per kilo if producers are to continue to pay their bills and stay in business.
John Bryan also renewed his call on Government to press ahead with plans for a statutory code of practice and an independent ombudsman to enforce the legislation.
He said: “It is clear that farmers will only achieve equity in the food supply chain with regulation of the retailers and processors.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved