Brendan Soden of IFA outside Aldi, Cavan

Egg farmers eye up January review as they fall short of 2c target

BLOCKADE Retailer back to full operation; packers pass back 1.2c/eggs to farmers

IFA members are looking ahead to reviewing egg prices in the New Year after they called off their protest, despite the settlement falling short of their initial target.

After six and a half days of protesting at the Cavan Town stores, the IFA members finally agreed to settling for an increase of approximately 1.2c/egg. During the protests which left fresh food shelves empty in the discount retailers, the farmers had claimed they needed 2c/egg to offset soaring input costs.

The price increase was achieved through the retailers negotiating with the eggs packers, who were also seeking an increase. It was therefore within the gift of the packing companies to pass a proportion of the increase onto the farmers, and the latter finally accepted 1.2c/egg.

"Thankfully it was passed back, and they left the door open to us in January to review it again," IFA deputy poultry chairman Brendan Soden told the Celt this evening.

"It's a start, and it's good to see they recognised eventually - shame it wasn't sooner that they had to act."

Brendan believes that was the longest farmer protest outside a retailer.

"The way it went on for so many days, they saw how bad of a situation we were in," he surmises.

Is he concerned that between now and the new year, egg farmers are going to endure more losses.

"We probably will, it depends on energy costs. Hopefully that will not move drastically.

"The offer to go in in January that will be the bog one - if we can curb costs for the next three months they said they said they will have a system there where we will be able to recoup them far quicker."

An Aldi spokesperson said they expected to be back to full and normal operations by today (Thursday): "Further to agreeing a price increase with our suppliers last Saturday, we welcome the agreement reached overnight between egg producers and our egg suppliers which will see the fourth price increase introduced this year.

"We want to thank our customers for their patience and loyalty over what has been a very frustrating period of days.

"We appreciate farmers and suppliers will always seek to get the best possible deal. This is reflected in our unrelenting commitment to engagement and discussion. We always strive for and successfully achieve positive, sustained relationships with our suppliers. But we will never compromise on our value commitment to our customers."