“Big Supermarket chains are fleecing Irish farmers” – Matt Carthy MEP
Big supermarkets are fleecing profits from Irish beef while farmers have to protest to receive even a few every extra cent for their produce, MEP Matt Carthy has said.
The Midlands North West EU Parliament representative made his comments after it was revealed that supermarkets are taking up to 50% of all profits made on fresh meat.
The revelation which was highlighted in Leinster House last week by Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley, and which came after several days of protests by the IFA outside a number of high-profile retailers, will come as little surprise to farmers, Carthy said adding that “it is not only factories taking advantage of beef farmers but also large supermarket chains”.
The Sinn Féin MEP said: “This leaked information, that reveals supermarkets are pocketing between 33% and 45% of the retail price of meat, is further damning evidence that beef farmers are being fleeced.
“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 supermarkets are taking for themselves and it is almost half in some cases; while many farmers are losing 60 to 70 cents on every kilo produced”.
Carthy said there was “no fairness” in a system wherein farmers rear animals for two years “while the supermarkets have it for two to three days yet bank the bulk of proft”.
“Full transparency throughout the supply chain is the only way in which farmers and consumers could see exactly what the supermarkets are paying factories and what factories are paying farmers” he said “which is why Sinn Féin have prioritised our proposal for a Beef Transparency bill in the Dáil”.
He added: “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 to resolve the crisis that faces the Irish beef sector”.