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Irish poultry farmers need price increases to cover ever-increasing costs

14 January 2019, at 12:00a.m.

IRELAND - The Irish Farmer's Associtaion's (IFA) Poultry Chairman, Andy Boylan, has called on all stakeholders involved in the processing and retailing of poultry meat and eggs, to recognise the increased costs of production

Mr Boylan said that Bord Bia Quality assured chicken and eggs are produced by farmers to the highest quality standards and in an environmentally sustainable fashion also need to be produced in a financially sustainable manner too.

Without adequate remuneration, farmers cannot continue producing chicken and eggs, which convert Irish grain into high quality protein in the most efficient manner of all farmed animals, said the IFA in a news release.

Chicken meat has overtaken pig meat as the largest consumed meat in the world in 2017 and its health benefits are well-recognised.

Irish poultry farmers want 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," said Mr Boylan.

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, said the IFA.

The farmer can only negotiate with their direct processors but the issue is wider than simply the farmer and factor manager haggling over price.

The retailers that ultimately sell chicken to the consumer need to recognise the true costs of sustainable production.

Continuous discounts and special offers of chicken have to be halted, as it undermines everything that a chicken farmer does on a daily basis, said the IFA.

Mr Boylan said that poultry producers’ groups were requesting urgent meetings with their processors and egg packers to renegotiate current agreements which have been in place for three years and now need to be upgraded for farmers.