Tesco has said that it has made no changes to the specifications it demands when buying beef, following a protest by beef farmers outside its Tesco Extra Naas outlet last week.
Farmers protested outside the Naas outlet last Thursday amid claims that claims that supermarkets and meat processors were making 'unjustified price and specification cuts', which the IFA said are 'severely damaging farmers and the Irish beef sector'.
Tesco responded by saying "there have been no changes to Tesco’s age restrictions or specifications in relation to bull beef and there are no current plans to make any changes."
The retailer added that it "is a significant supporter of Irish beef farmers; beef exports to Tesco internationally from the Republic of Ireland are c €177 million per year, almost 14% of the total value of beef exports."
IFA national livestock chairman Henry Burns called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to ensure meat processors respect the agreements they entered into with farmers, saying that factories and supermarkets have been left to 'run amok on beef farmers, imposing loss making price and specification cuts and severely damaging incomes and confidence'.
“The Minister must ensure that there is strong competition and transparency in the beef sector," he said. "Cattle prices must fairly reflect market returns. We need a strong live export trade to keep a balance in supplies and support viable prices.”
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones