Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher has called on grocery retailers and co-ops to accommodate farmers suffering due to poor weather.

“Grocery retailers in Ireland, as well as suppliers to farmers such as co-ops, must be more accommodating to the Irish agricultural sector in light of the ongoing bad weather which is having a serious impact on productivity,” the Fianna Fáil MEP said.

The continued wet weather has had a detrimental effect on the agricultural industry, leaving farmers stressed and struggling financially.


“Rainfall for the country in March was approximately 140% of the average, with certain parts of the country receiving even more rainfall,” Kelleher noted.

“Whether it is our tillage and horticulture sectors that have been unable to plant their crops or our dairy, sheep or suckler farms who have been unable to put their animals out on their land due to it being so wet, Irish agriculture is in difficulty.”

Grocery retailers

He called on grocery retailers to be “more generous with their pricing at this time. Perhaps a short-term solidarity payment can be made to affected farmers to alleviate their challenges."

In addition, he said that “suppliers of Irish agriculture need to be understanding in terms of payments and prices”.

He continued: “There’s no point making a higher profit off of a farmer this year when he or she is in trouble financially if your actions might put them out of business next year. We all need to think about the long term."

Support farmers

“While I have no doubt the Government will step in and support farmers with their own measures, I believe the sectors that rely on a productive and profitable agricultural sector have to do more to support farmers.

“This is about surviving 2024 and making sure all of our farmers are still in business for 2025. It’s in everyone’s interests for that to happen,” Kelleher concluded.