An IFA protest by pig and poultry farmers took place outside five Cavan supermarkets on Tuesday 21 December.

SuperValu, Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl were all targeted as part of the protest co-ordinated by the IFA pig and poultry committees.

Poultry farmers have seen their margins drop to historic lows in recent times due to a number of factors.

Some of the protesters outside supermarkets in Cavan.

According to the IFA, poultry meat price has remained stagnant for the last four years and the egg price that Irish farmers receive has remained stagnant for the last two decades.

Rise is cost of inputs

Coupled with this, they have also seen their input costs spiral in recent months. Gas prices have gone up by 40%, along with increases for labour, water, feed and electricity which means that costs have risen by 60% in 2021.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal IFA poultry chair Andy Boylan said: “Ireland is one of only two member states where egg prices have declined in the last 12 months.

It’s obvious that supermarkets are playing dirty games here

“Our feed costs have risen by 36% during that time and the average egg price across the EU is up by 13.2% so it’s obvious that supermarkets are playing dirty games here.

“We need the price of a chicken to be increased by 15c/head and we need egg prices to go up by 2c/egg. This is just to recover our costs, nothing else.”

As well as receiving poor prices, poultry farmers are also suffering from increases in the cost of inputs.

Boylan added: “All the supermarkets listened to us and assured us that they would pass the message on to senior management, but we are adamant that if we don’t see something changing, we will be back in the new year.”