The IFA says chicken farmers will suffer following the High Court’s appointment of an interim examiner to the Co Waterford-based Cappoquin Poultry Ltd and the related company Cappoquin Poultry Holdings Ltd after being informed the business has debts of €6m.
IFA National Poultry Committee chairman Alo Mohan said: “It is an awful shame that, despite the efforts of the farmer suppliers, other suppliers and workforce to Cappoquin Poultry Products, the company is once again in such a poor condition that an administrator has been appointed.”
The company, which employs more than 130 people, was placed in examinership by the High Court on Monday with the appointment of Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton as administrator. The company will now operate for 100 days while Mr McAteer assesses the company’s viability.
Mr Mohan said the situation in Waterford has not changed, with the local community as dependent on Cappoquin Poultry Products as it was in 2008 when it was taken over by Derby Poultry.
“It was for this reason that growers stayed in production, foregoing the monies they were owed, as well as increases that were needed to cover ever-increasing costs, to help ensure the viability of the company. It now appears that these efforts may have been in vain.”
Mr Mohan said the last time Cappoquin Chickens was placed in this position, imported chicken and the high price of inputs was blamed, adding that the situation is the same today.
“The vast majority of chicken bought at catering level in hotels and restaurants is imported and therefore it may not meet the same standards as chicken produced in Ireland. All Irish chicken is produced under the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme, ensuring the highest standards of quality, food safety and traceability.”
Mr Mohan said if Irish consumers want to ensure the future of the Irish chicken industry, they must query the origin of chicken, especially fillets, everywhere but particularly in restaurants and butchers.
“EU legislation on country of origin labelling of fresh meat is coming but not fast enough,” said Mr Mohan. “Hopefully the communities in Cappoquin and the greater West Waterford/East Cork region will not be made suffer for the delay in this legislation.”
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