The IFA has said the sale of a 1.9kg chicken for €3.49 by retailer Lidl was “grossly irresponsible” and warned it had the “potential to lead to a price war that producers will ultimately pay for”.

The farm organisation made the comments in emails sent to a number of TDs and MEPs, according to its own submission to the lobbying register for the period January to April 2022.

In these emails, the IFA says it highlighted that “Government’s inaction on retail legislation has created this situation” and warned that “unless there is robust regulation of retailers, we will see more and more farmers going out of business”.

The IFA said that without an immediate increase in the wholesale retail price, to be passed back to egg and chicken producers, these entire sectors are in jeopardy.

IFA president Tim Cullinan and representatives from the IFA poultry committee were responsible for the lobbying.

‘Loss leader’

In a separate lobbying effort over the same period, the IFA says it highlighted that “it’s now clear that across the horticulture, poultry and pig sectors, retailers are using food as a loss leader”.

It claimed that Lidl had “even used organic produce as a loss leader”.

The IFA says it told TDs and MEPs that “retailers must go back to their suppliers and sit down with them to agree a pricing structure which ensures the economic sustainability of farmers and growers”.

The association called on Government to stop below-cost selling and implement this into Irish law for stringent regulation by a new Food Regulator Office. It said there is a “strong need for a significant rebalancing of power in the food supply chain”.

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