Irish Farmers’ Association stage blockade at Aldi distribution centre over beef prices
The blockade is set to last for 12 hours.
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has set up a blockade of Aldi’s distribution centre in Naas in a dispute over beef prices.
Tractors have been parked across the entrance to the distribution centre, from which Aldi distributes products to Aldi stores all over Ireland.
— Irish Farmers' Association (@IFAmedia) December 5, 2019
The blockade comes amidst mounting frustration from the IFA about beef prices in Ireland, with retailers described as “part of the beef supply chain that’s broken” in a post on Twitter on Thursday morning.
In a statement last month, the IFA, which is calling for an immediate increase in beef prices, said: “It’s clear that the new Beef Price Index shows that Irish prices are 17c/kg behind prices in our main export markets, and this is being pocketed by the factories.
“The real issue for all farmers on the ground is that beef prices are increasing in every other country except Ireland and farmers feel exploited.”
The first meeting of the government’s Beef Market Taskforce took place earlier this week, with representative organisations including the IFA, the ICSA (Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association), the ICMSA (Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association) and the BPM (Beef Plan Movement) calling for an increase in beef prices.
In a statement, Aldi said it was “extremely disappointed” by the IFA blockade, saying that any action outside ongoing talks with the Beef Taskforce was “short sighted and not constructive”.
"Aldi is extremely disappointed by today’s IFA protest at its Naas Regional Distribution Centre," the statement read.
“We welcomed the resumption of the Beef Taskforce this week and have engaged openly with farmer representative organisations on the beef issue over recent months.
“Aldi is fully committed to co-operating with the Beef Taskforce and met with one of the representative groups, the BPM, as recently as last week to further update our position.
“As part of our preparations for the taskforce, we have initiated research on a wide range of beef products to determine a number of issues.
“Our work also includes a complete review of procedures and processes with our suppliers to ensure we are meeting all customer and market requirements.
“Any action outside of this process is short-sighted and not constructive.”
Main image via Twitter/Irish Farmers' Assoc