Cutting the prices of Irish beef and lamb directly undermines the efforts and livelihoods of Irish cattle and sheep farmers, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) has said.

On Monday, Aldi announced price cuts to almost 20 meat products.

ICSA beef chair John Cleary has hit out at Aldi for claiming that its latest round of price cuts will not impact on the prices paid to any of its suppliers.

“This is a ludicrous claim; Aldi's assertion that their price cuts will not affect their suppliers is simply unacceptable and out of touch with the reality faced by Irish farmers.

"It is our assertion that cutting the prices of Irish beef and lamb directly undermines the efforts and livelihoods of Irish cattle and sheep farmers,” he said.

Cleary added that beef and lamb producers are producing top-quality food to extremely exacting standards and they are doing so under serious financial pressures.

"In most instances, farmers are struggling just to meet the bare minimum costs of production. It is incredulous to suggest that slashing prices on products that are already undervalued would not have a detrimental impact on suppliers.

"In fact, Aldi’s actions will almost certainly provoke a round of price cutting by other retailers on key farm products and this will all feed back into downward pressure on prices paid to producers," he said.

Production costs

He argued that at a time when production costs have skyrocketed, this move by Aldi only serves to diminish the value of these products further by perpetuating unrealistic expectations regarding how low prices can plummet.

"There can be no doubt that the downward pressure on these prices will inevitably trickle down the food chain and will ultimately burden beef and lamb farmers who have always had the least bargaining power.

"It is unacceptable that while retailers benefit from reduced prices, our farmers are left to bear the brunt of these cuts.

"The reality is that these price cuts directly impact the bottom line of our farmers, making it increasingly difficult for them to sustain their livelihoods and maintain the high standards of quality and welfare that consumers expect," he said.

The ICSA is urging Aldi to reconsider its pricing strategy and acknowledge the true value of Irish beef and lamb as a matter of urgency.