Closure of McDonald's a "big blow" to Irish farmers
"They cannot sustain any further cuts."
McDonald's, a huge buyer of Irish beef, announced on Sunday night that from Monday (23 March) onward, each of its 95 restaurants across Ireland would be closed.
The Irish Famers Association (IFA) has since described this announcement as a "big blow", while also stating that it is understandable given the risk of Covid-19.
In a statement issued on Monday, the IFA said: "Unfortunately, it is reflective of what is happening across Europe where closures have had an impact on the food service sector."
However, there has been an increase in retail demand since coronavirus has come to Ireland.
IFA President Tim Cullinan wrote to the European Commissioner for Agriculture last week pointing out that the Commission needed to stand ready to support the EU beef market as it was likely to be impacted by COVID 19.
Cullinan said: "The Irish beef price is already well below the cost of production for farmers. They cannot sustain any further cuts."
McDonald's had already closed the sit-in part of its restaurants, but have since closed in entirety.
Chief Executive Officer of McDonald's UK & Ireland Paul Pomroy said: "Over the last 24 hours, it has become clear that maintaining safe social distancing whilst operating busy takeaway and Drive Thru restaurants is increasingly difficult."