Irish Farmers’ Association stage blockade at Lidl distribution centre in Cork

Andrew Cummings
December 8, 2019

Kildare, where farmers picketed for 12 hours.

At seven o'clock this morning scores of farmers set up a blockade of the Aldi distribution centre in Naas.

At 7am this morning, approximately 50 IFA members blocked lorries from accessing the distribution centre, from which stock is delivered to Lidl stores all over the country.

The row has been ongoing for months, with the price of beef at its lowest in years and with many farmers claiming they are struggling to survive and may be forced out of business without Government intervention.

Speaking about the protests in Cork on Friday, IFA Presidential candidate John Coughlan was critical of what he described as the listless attitude of the government and the lack of urgency in addressing the ever-widening price gap between what Irish beef farmers are being paid compared to their worldwide equivalents.

She said that the protesters were calling on Aldi representatives to come out of the centre and speak to them to find a resolution.

"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", it said. We have had enough excuses from both processors and retailers.

They've warned that unless beef prices increase, more protests will be carried out.

"Over the past two weeks that has even opened up further to a 20c average between Ireland and the European Union and a 50c average difference between Ireland and the United Kingdom", said Mr Healy.

He pointed to a lack of urgency in making meaningful progress to date, saying the sense of drift was doubly damaging given the ever-widening price gap between what Irish beef farmers are being paid versus their global equivalents.

"All the parties to the talks, including the meat industry, are saying they want a deal", Coughlan said.

It's understood the planned blockade will also commence early in the morning.

"Meat Industry Ireland have always said that they can't talk about price but price is the big issue".

"Joe Healy is also aware that cattle prices are quoted on a Friday and the timing of this stunt was motivated by competition for membership between traditional and new farm organisations".

"It is just two days since the first meeting of the Beef Taskforce".

But in making the announcement, the company - which is one of the country's largest meat processors - condemned the decision by the Irish Farmers Association to protest.

"You're stopping us get paid".

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