There is a strong possibility that supermarket shelves will be empty of poultry products as energy and feed bills hit 'unprecedented levels', Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) poultry chair Nigel Sweetnam has said.

He argued that farmers won’t continue to place day-old birds or layer hens unless their costs are recovered.

Nigel Sweetnam said producers cannot get any more credit and cannot afford to pay their energy bills.


Negotiations have been taking place with processors and egg packers as part of the IFA campaign to recover farmers’ costs from the marketplace.

"The war in Ukraine has driven feed and energy prices to unprecedented levels, meaning that in the case of the chicken processors, there are additional feed and energy costs which need to be covered, before they pass back the required increase to farmers,” he said.

The entire sector is in jeopardy

Sweetnam said that the increase offered by the processors and egg packers, from their share of what they were able to get from the marketplace, is "far from what producers need".

IFA poultry committee vice-chair Brendan Soden said producers are suffering and losing money.

Soden said that without an immediate increase in the wholesale retail price, to be passed back to egg and chicken producers, the entire sector is in jeopardy.

"What we produce is top quality, but at prices which are not sustainable. We intend to highlight the absolute necessity for our costs to be recovered from the food chain immediately,” he said.