Farmers must not be disadvantaged in terms of fertiliser prices by the agreement, which will see Kerry Agribusiness source the vast bulk of its supplies from Grassland Agro, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has said.

It insisted that securing competitively-priced fertiliser remains the priority for Kerry’s dairy farmers, and the recent agreement between the two businesses must not compromise access to such supplies.

“It is never good for farmers to see a reduction in competition, so it is difficult to see where the benefits are for farmers in this deal,” said IFA farm business chair Bill O’Keeffe.


“You would just be worried that this agreement will reduce competition or limit farmers’ freedom to shop around.

It is hard to see the value for the farmer in preferential supply deals like this,” he added.

The IFA representative noted that a recent survey carried out by association members found €60-70/t differential in the prices for some of the more popular products.

The novel tie-up between Kerry Agribusiness and Grassland Agro is the first of its kind for the Irish fertiliser sector.

The deal will see Grassland Agro supply close to 100,000t of product to Kerry Agribusiness, which is wholly owned by Kerry Group.

At an average price of €450/t across all products, the deal could be worth in the region of €45m a year.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that Grassland Agro will not sell fertiliser directly to Kerry farmers.


It will supply product to the dairy processor, with farmers continuing to purchase fertiliser through the Kerry Agribusiness branch network.

However, Grassland Agro will provide support to Kerry’s suppliers in the area of sustainability and nutrient management.