Aldi Ireland has confirmed that it has provided a more than 2c/egg price increase for its eggs and called on egg packers to pass the increase back to their farmer producers.

An Aldi spokesperson said the retailer has been in “active discussions” with its egg packer suppliers for a “period of weeks now” with what has been “a view to agreeing what would be a fourth price increase this year.”

“On Saturday (1 October), discussions advanced further when a price increase, which substantially exceeds what protesting farmers are seeking, was agreed with our egg suppliers.

“It is up to our egg suppliers, and those farmers with whom they have a commercial arrangement, to engage as to how this outcome is apportioned,” the spokesperson said.

As farmer delivery blockades at Aldi and Lidl continue in Cavan town, many of the supermarkets' shop shelves have been left empty.

Price increase

Egg producers have been calling for a 2c/egg or 24c/dozen price increase as part of their ongoing protests at Aldi and Lidl in Cavan town. While Aldi has twice outlined its position on the farmer protests since they commenced last Thursday, Lidl has refused to comment at any stage, despite a number of requests.

Poultry farmers protesting at Lidl in Cavan town on Monday.

IFA poultry committee chair Nigel Sweetman says the price increase agreed between Aldi and their egg packer suppliers on Saturday was 2.5c/egg. Responding to Aldi’s comment, he said this does not “substantially exceed” what protesting farmers are seeking.

However, he said: “The problem is the egg packers have taken that share themselves and they’re only willing to pass a quarter of it back to the egg producer. It’s further eroding the farmers' share of the egg price.”

‘Reckless’ protests

Sweetman says the IFA poultry committee protests will continue at Aldi and Lidl “for the foreseeable” or until a time when “someone makes a move”. Having blockaded deliveries at the supermarkets for five days, Sweetman says the discussion now is about how things can be “escalated”. He said that “things will have to come to a head”.

On the ongoing protests, the Aldi spokesperson says that given its progress in agreeing a price increase with egg packers, “the continued disruption of [its] Cavan store by a small number of farmers is reckless”.

Lidl Ireland has refused to comment on ongoing farmer protests at its Cavan store.

“The blockade, which has prevented store deliveries, has caused real frustration among our customers. Frustrations we share. Stock is not the problem, access is. Our supply trucks are loaded with Irish produce from our Irish suppliers ready to stock the shelves of our Cavan store. Unfortunately, the blockades are preventing this.

“Against a backdrop of record inflation and rising household costs, value matters more than ever. Over recent days, hard-pressed local customers who are dealing with the cost-of-living crisis have been disregarded by protestors. Such a short-sighted approach serves no one,” the spokesperson said.

The IFA has said that protesting farmers have received support from Aldi and Lidl customers, who it says are symptomatic to farmers’ calls for a 2c/egg price increase.

While noting that the retailer always strives for and achieves “positive, sustained supplier relationships”, the Aldi spokesperson said “we will never compromise on our value commitment to our customers.”

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Watch: egg producer protest grinds Cavan supermarkets to a halt