The president of the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) Pat McCormack has called on retailers to introduce a Christmas bonus for farmers in line with dividends paid to retail staff.

“Companies like Aldi and Tesco are giving their staff a 10% Christmas bonus for working tirelessly through the months of pandemic. These companies should consider paying a similar bonus to the food suppliers.

“The people who toil hardest and longest are just taken for granted and expected to continue to produce food at prices often below the cost of production.”

Disappointing contrast

The ICMSA president aslo said that farmers understand the reasoning by corporate retailers to pay their staff a bonus, but feels it’s disappointing to contrast the praise and recognition given to the people who sell the food with unsustainable prices being paid to farmers.

“Throughout the pandemic, farmers continued their essential work and it’s very revealing that no-one ever even mentions any kind of recognition or reward for the people who produce the food,” McCormack said.

“The retail corporations have made unprecedented profits this year, they should recognise that they have been systematically underpaying farmers.”

McCormack has called for bonuses to be offered to food suppliers and primary producers on the back of increased sales and profits in 2020, recognising the efforts of everyone in the food supply chain.

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