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Agreement Sought Between Growers, Processor

by 5m Editor
24 May 2010, at 9:12am

NORTHERN IRELAND - The Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) has described the huge number of people who attended last week's meeting for growers supplying O'Kane Poultry as a very clear demonstration of the level of dissatisfaction that growers have with their present situation.

Speaking after the UFU's meeting in Ballymena on 20 May, which was attended by around 220 broiler breeder, broiler and turkey growers, Union President, John Thompson said: "We were initially contacted a few weeks ago by concerned growers and a meeting was arranged at short notice in Ballymoney. The follow-up meeting was held this week because so many growers wanted to voice their concerns. A very clear and consistent message has come from all of the growers present that they can no longer sustain the poor returns which they have been receiving. In particular, a major concern is the lack of consistency with bird performance and feed quality."

Mr Thompson emphasised the growers' genuine desire to work constructively with O'Kanes to find a solution to the present difficulties. He said: "The producers unanimously agreed that a small number of growers from all three sectors will represent their views. We have been asked to seek an urgent meeting for them with O'Kane Poultry and to accompany them to this meeting. The UFU have also agreed to meet with our members next week to discuss the latest broiler contract."

He added: "O'Kane Poultry need these growers and the growers need O'Kane Poultry. We are all in this together and it is imperative that we reach a consensus on a profitable way forward for the growers and the company."