Tesco has said that the IFA’s protest outside its distribution centre in Donabate, Co Dublin, is “regrettable”.
Following similar action at Aldi and Lidl distribution centres last week, the IFA is blockading Tesco’s centre for 12 hours in protest over low beef prices.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Tesco said: “All Tesco own-label fresh beef is sourced through processors, who agree prices directly with farmers. The price customers pay for beef products in our stores is not related to the price farmers receive from the processors.
“As a business, we pay for any price promotions we run.”
IFA president Joe Healy said earlier that farmers were “appalled” to see Tesco advertising half-price beef in the last few days.
“This unsustainable discounting puts downward pressure on beef prices and is an insult to farmers and the work they do,” Healy said.
Tesco said it had always maintained a “good working relationship with the IFA” and that a very constructive meeting had been held between the two in recent weeks.
“Tesco is one of the biggest supporters and purchasers of Irish food and drink globally. We are proud that all our own-label fresh beef, pork, lamb and chicken is 100% Irish and Bord Bia approved,” the spokesperson said.
“Tesco supports the work of the beef taskforce and agrees that it is the correct mechanism for resolving the current challenges in the beef sector.”
The IFA has stated it will continue its action until there is a substantial price increase for beef farmers.