Retail chain teams up with food processors for €250k fodder fund

IFA general secretary Pat Smith, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, and Eamon Howell, SuperValu trading director, at the announcement of a deal on fodder. Picture: Patrick Bolger

Retail chain SuperValu has partnered with food processors Kepak and Oliver Carty Ltd to create a €250,000 fund aimed at assisting farmers to purchase fodder.

Formally unveiled yesterday, this latest fund follows recent fodder initiatives such as Irish Dairy Board’s €2m emergency fodder fund, Glanbia’s €1m rebate scheme, and the one-week extension of the Government’s €1m fodder transport subsidy.

Co-ops including Dairygold, Kerry, Boherbue and others will continue to distribute hay and silage to farmers this weekend. Farmers can buy these animal feeds at cost, with transport costs covered by one or other subsidy. Several co-ops are also offering zero interest credit facilities on grain.

The SuperValu fund will be administered by the IFA. The retailer has committed to continue working with IFA and the Department of Agriculture to provide further assistance if required.

IFA general secretary Pat Smith said: “I would like to thank SuperValu, Kepak and Oliver Carty Ltd for their support in this time of crisis. SuperValu are one of the farming sector’s biggest customers and it is great to see them offer this level of support to our industry.”

SuperValu, which has one of the biggest truck fleets in the country, has also offered to transport fodder from Dublin Port to co-ops, or internally between food suppliers across the country.

Kepak supply SuperValu’s beef and lamb, while Oliver Carty supplies its ham and bacon products. All of these items are 100% born, bred and reared in Ireland.

SuperValu managing director, Martin Kelleher, said: “As the number one supporter of Irish food producers and the farming industry, we are keenly aware of the difficulties currently facing Irish farmers all over the country.

“Our business is heavily reliant on the Irish agri-food sector and we recognise we have a responsibility to our suppliers and the farming community as a whole. We, along with our partner, Kepak and [Oliver] Carty Ltd, are committed to protecting Irish farming and Irish farm families, through this crisis.”

SuperValu has 196 stores. Its commitment to buying Irish goods and services contributes over €1.6bn annually to the economy and helps to sustain some 30,000 jobs in the farm, food and retail sector.

Meanwhile, the Keenan helpline (059 9771200) is handling 60 calls a day, staffed from 8am to 6pm by animal nutritionists including Cathal Bohane from Co Cork, and Eva Griffin from Co Clare. Farmers can also call the Department’s helpline on 1850 211990.

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