Poultry farmers have stood down their protests at Aldi and Lidl in Cavan town this morning following agreement between egg packers and egg producers to apportion a price increase provided by the retailers. Farmers are set to get a 1.2c/egg increase per egg they produce over the coming weeks.
Pressure mounted on Tuesday evening on the country’s main egg packers as Aldi Ireland agreed to pass down a price increase of approximately 3c/egg in a bid to find a resolution to the then ongoing poultry farmer protest at its Cavan store, according to members of the IFA poultry committee.
The committee’s vice chair Brendan Soden confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal that eggs producers will receive a price increase of 1.2c/egg from this approximate 3c/egg provided by Aldi which will “feed into the system over the coming weeks”. This is down from the 2c/egg protesters had been seeking.
While Lidl Ireland haven’t provided a price increase to the same extent as Aldi yet, the protest at its Cavan town store has also been stood down “in good faith” as talks continue, said Soden. He said it is hoped Lidl will now follow Aldi in providing a price increase to be passed back to farmers.
Aldi met with IFA representatives on Tuesday afternoon and agreed to increase the price it pays for the eggs it markets “in the region of” 3c/egg or 36c/dozen. It’s understood this deal, agreed with the IFA, is to support farmers stay viable until January, when the supermarket has committed to review the situation, taking into account energy prices at that stage.
IFA secretary general Damien McDonald also travelled to Cavan town on Tuesday evening to meet with egg packers, who were asked to bring two of their egg producers for talks on passing this price increase, afforded by Aldi, back down the supply chain. It is understood these talks came to the resolution that has now seen protests end at Aldi and Lidl in Cavan.
Ireland’s main egg packers include Greenfield Foods (Monaghan), Nestbox Eggs (Monaghan), Annalitten Foods (Monaghan) and Belview Eggs (Louth). It’s understood that these four egg packers are some, if not all, of those who met with the IFA delegation in Cavan on Tuesday night.
Speaking on Tuesday evening, IFA poultry chair Nigel Sweetman said if egg packers hadn’t passed the price increase afforded by Aldi back to egg producers, the association was ready to blockade as many as 15 other supermarkets “nationwide” from today, Wednesday. He said tractors, jeeps and trailers were at the ready and IFA members were being organised to continue a protest of such scale.
While not blockading deliveries, IFA members parked jeeps and trailers and displayed IFA protest signs at Aldi and Lidl in Co Monaghan and Kinsale, Co Cork on Tuesday as they prepared to “escalate” the protests which started in Cavan last Thursday morning.
He said egg producers “shouldn’t have to do this” to secure an egg price increase to stay viable. “We can’t be expected to produce food below the cost of production,” he said.
Commenting on the conclusion of the blockade at its Cavan store, an Aldi spokesperson said the retailer has welcomed the “agreement reached overnight between egg producers and our egg suppliers which will see the fourth price increase introduced this year”.
“This now means that our Cavan store can begin to return to normal operations from today (Wednesday). We have this morning dispatched delivery trucks from our depot and the shelves of our Cavan store will be restocked throughout the day. We expect to be back to full and normal operations by tomorrow (Thursday),” they said.
Lidl Ireland has refused to comment on the six-day protest at its store at any stage, despite requests from the Irish Farmers Journal.