Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Stanley TD has today raised with the Tánaiste startling new information that supermarkets are taking up to 50% of all profits made on fresh meat.
This news follows several days of protests by the IFA outside a number of high-profile retailers, and would support the argument that it is not only factories taking advantage of beef farmers but also large supermarket chains.
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Teachta Stanley said:
“This leaked information that reveals supermarkets are pocketing between 33-45% of the retail price of meat is damning evidence that beef farmers are being robbed.
“Three large supermarket chains make up 75% of the retail market in Ireland and they dominate the industry by taking advantage of a lack of price transparency in the supply chain.
“Thanks to these documents, farmers now know exactly how much of the retail price that supermarkets are taking for themselves and it is almost 50% in some instances; whereas farmers are losing 60-70c on every kilo produced.
“This is completely unacceptable when you consider that farmers rear animals for two or three years while the supermarket has it for two or three days. Where is the justice in that?
“Much of the focus of the past while has been on factories and the fact that there is one big player dominating the supply chain, but what we also need to recognise is that at the other end you have three large supermarket chains dominating retail and taking the lion share of the profits.
“What we need is full price transparency throughout the supply chain. We need to know what the supermarkets are paying the factories for produce and we need a live index to show what factories are paying farmers across the country. Only then will farmers be able to make fully informed decisions.
“We also need retailers to be active members of the Beef Taskforce – these leaked documents show the dominance they have on the industry and they must be present at talks.”