Aldi has said it is extremely disappointed by Thursday’s IFA protest at its Naas regional distribution centre, where the IFA has blockaded the site for 12 hours.
"We welcomed the resumption of the beef taskforce this week and have engaged positively with farmer representative organisations on the beef issue over recent months.
"Aldi has a policy of open communications with all of its stakeholders, including the IFA.
"To be very clear, Aldi received no request for engagement on this issue from any member of the IFA leadership, no communication about specific concerns about the mechanics of the beef market, including age specification, and no warning of any grievance the IFA had before this morning," a spokesperson for Aldi said.
Aldi is fully committed to co-operating with the beef taskforce and met with one of the representative groups, the Beef Plan Movement (BPM), as recently as last week to further update its position, the spokesperson said.
"As part of our preparations for the taskforce, we have initiated research on a wide range of beef products to determine a number of issues. Our work also includes a complete review of procedures and processes with our suppliers to ensure we are meeting all customer and market requirements.
"Aldi is a proud supporter of Irish beef and all of our fresh meat, including our beef, is 100% Irish and Bord Bia-assured. This is a cornerstone of our commitment to our customers.
"We remain committed to reporting back through the taskforce and playing a fulsome role in the process. Any action outside of this process is short-sighted and not constructive.
"All of our stores are open and unaffected."
IFA president Joe Healy said that farmers are sick of being short-changed by meat factories and retailers on beef price.
“The supply chain is delivering mega profits for factories and retailers at the expense of farmers. We can have all the reviews we like, but farmers need a price increase now,” he said.
Before any talks last August, the IFA said it insisted that the retailers had to be present, but they refused to take part. “They have a dominant role in a dysfunctional food chain and they have to be held to account,” Healy said.