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Growers give unanimous mandate for protest action at IFI meeting

Photo via Magda Ehlers from Pexels

Irish Farmers Association president Tim Callinan says “It’s time for action”

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Horticulture

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10 February 2022 | 0

Irish horticulture growers give unanimous mandate for protest action at an Irish Farmers Association meeting last week.

With more than Irish horticulture growers in attendance, there was a unanimous mandate for direct action if retailers do not give growers a fair price increase.

Speaking at the meeting, IFA president Tim Cullinan said: “Growers are going out of business. Costs have gone up, but retailers, and discounters in particular, will not give a fair price increase and they continue to use food as a loss leader.

“IFA is currently on a round of meetings with the major retailers. We need to see serious commitments by them to address cost increases in the sector. They must start to treat growers with respect and realise that we will have no domestic supply of fruit and veg if they don’t foster and support growers.”

While individual growers were fearful that if they took action, they would be targeted or delisted by retailers, it was agreed that all decisions in relation to what action needed to be taken would be left to Cullinan.

“It is clear that growers are sick of how they are being treated and they are willing to fight for their businesses,” he continued. “Poultry and pig farmers have also been protesting at supermarkets recently and anger is building. The message to me as IFA President is clear: it’s time for action,” he said.

“The second message from last night was that the government need to bring forward their promised legislation for a food regulator. This cannot be a paper tiger. It must have teeth and we want to see a ban on the below-cost selling of food.”

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