The egg packing company Greenfield is guilty of lagging behind others when it comes to price, Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) poultry chair Nigel Sweetnam has claimed.

The IFA, according to Sweetnam, has been flooded with calls from outraged producers following last week's announcement of the expansion plans of Greenfield.

"Producers are particularly incensed by the packer's failure to acknowledge the increased costs borne by producers.

"Any expansion cannot be at the expense of producers, who have campaigned for two years to get a price that takes account of higher costs," he argued.

Sweeetnam added that other major players such as Annalitten Foods, Nest Box Eggs and Bellview have already met their producers' demands months ago.

However, Greenfield Foods appears to be outrightly refusing to do the same, he maintained.

Largest supplier

"As Ireland's largest suppliers of eggs, it is unacceptable that they are paying one of the lowest prices in the country to their producers. This is a matter for the food regulator to investigate and ensure fair practices within the industry.

“At a time when retail, processing and wholesale markets are flourishing, returning an additional three cents per dozen (€0.0025 per egg) to producers should be a simple task, especially since it has already been secured from retailers,” he said.

Producers, Sweetnam added, are demanding that the remaining three cents per dozen is passed back for February eggs to fulfil the full original request, which all other egg producers have already received.