The Manor Farm chicken processing plant in Shercock, Co Cavan, is continuing to take birds from growers this week, despite reports that labour shortages had disrupted throughput at the factory.
IFA poultry chair Andrew Boylan said farmers were still getting birds away at the correct weights and on schedule.
The Irish Farmers Journal contacted Manor Farms in relation to these reports but no response was received from the firm
While some growers claimed that delivery schedules to the factory had slipped by three to four days, Boylan insisted that there had been no serious delays at farm level to date, and that birds were continuing to be killed.
Local press reports in the northeast suggested that a severe shortage of labour at the factory was restricting processing capacity.
The Irish Farmers Journal contacted Manor Farms in relation to these reports but no response was received from the firm.
Boylan said labour shortages were a real problem for the poultry industry at the moment, with experienced staff particularly difficult to source for the catching teams that collect the finished birds for delivery to the processors.
Boylan said the Government needed to address the labour situation in the poultry sector, and other agri-related businesses
The IFA representative said many eastern European workers who had been employed in the sector had returned to their home countries due to COVID-19 or because of improved economic prospects.
Boylan said the Government needed to address the labour situation in the poultry sector, and other agri-related businesses.
Up to 180 farmers in the northeast supply Manor Farms. The firm is the country’s largest poultry processor, slaughtering around 900,000 birds a week.
The company was formerly owned by the Carton Brothers, but was purchased a number of years ago by Swedish firm, Scandi Standard.
Labour shortages are posing increasing problems right across the food and agricultural sectors. Red meat processors have sought permits for up to 1,500 non-EU workers, while severe labour shortages are also reported in the horticulture and transport sectors.