The Beef Plan Movement has questioned the IFA's motive for protesting outside an Aldi distribution centre in Naas, Co Kildare.
While acknowledging the right of each individual and organisation to protest, they said that the IFA protest was "regrettable" as Aldi had openly come out and been willing to discuss the beef situation and the in-spec bonus with the Beef Plan and the ICSA.
"Why has the IFA chosen to protest outside a retailer who has given a firm commitment to work with and support Irish beef farmers?" they asked.
"Beef Plan has confirmed that it is the first farm organisation to explain the QPS in detail to Aldi. Aldi has met with the Beef Plan Movement and ICSA in recent weeks in support of farmers."
Meanwhile, supermarkets can no longer stand by and ignore their responsibilities during periods of low beef prices, according to ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham.
He stated that supermarkets continued to profit on the back of low prices and said it was a shame that they didn’t have a sense of guilt about their market power.
“It is now time to call out the ethics of selling beef while farmers lose their shirt. All retailers need to insist that they only sell products that have been bought for a fair price for the primary producer. A fair price is far more than €3.50/kg,” Graham said.
The Beef Taskforce, made up of Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and farm representative bodies, met this week and farmers were left feeling frustrated after MII admitted that the beef price should increase but meat factories have so far failed to deliver on that admission.
The Bord Bia beef market price index shows clearly that Irish prices should be rising
“It is manifestly clear that there is no reason why beef price should remain stuck at €3.50/kg when markets all over the globe are taking off, partly driven by the massive deficit in pork in China arising from African swine fever,” Graham said.
“The Bord Bia beef market price index shows clearly that Irish prices should be rising. Meanwhile, ICSA research into retail values of beef show that retailers and processors can share €1,512 mark-up before costs on a heifer for which the farmer got paid €1,228.”