The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has held meetings with supermarkets to discuss retail price cut campaigns and farmers being properly compensated from the food chain.

The organisation said it engaged with all main retailers recently, particularly the two discount supermarkets Lidl and Aldi, and said they cannot exploit their dominant position.

In these meetings, it was pointed out that price cut campaigns designed to attract footfall are very damaging to farmers and ultimately undermine the value of what they produce.

IFA president Francie Gorman said the brunt of recent retail price campaigns on beef, chicken, lamb and pork cannot land on farmers.

'Negative consequences'

“These campaigns, regardless of what the retailers say, will have negative consequences for farmgate prices. We cannot allow this to happen,” he said.

The retail grocery market in Ireland is dominated by five major retailers, controlling 92% of the market.

This dominance in the market by such a small number of retailers has led to a major imbalance in buying power and this must be addressed, a statement from the IFA said.

It added that the Agri-Food Regulator has an important and very urgent role to play in exposing where the margin goes in the food chain and potential profiteering by big retailers at the expense of farmers.