A West Clare farmer says it’s difficult to see how ‘very substantial’ increases in food costs for consumers can now be avoided.
The Government has approved a 12 million euro package of supports to produce more native grain and to address feed and fertiliser prices, but there are concerns being expressed it won’t go far enough.
The cost of supplying food, like almost everything else in the economy, is going up and fast.
Fuel prices and issues with supply chains due to the conflict in Ukraine are among the main reasons why farmers believe costs will have to be passed on to consumers in the near future.
Consumer Price Index figures suggests the cost of bread has risen by 5 percent in the past year, with pasta also rising due to Ukraine and Russia being among the largest grain producers in the world.
Kilmurry McMahon farmer Seamus Shannon, who’s Chair of the Independent Farmers of Ireland, says the government’s package signed off on yesterday won’t scratch the surface.
A South East Clare beef farmer, meanwhile, says further guarantees are needed from the Government on beef prices for farmers to be able to plan to finish cattle next year.
Current prices are around €4.50 per kg, with the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association saying this needs to be nearer 6 euro per kg to be sustainable.
The organisation’s Cratloe-based General Secretary, Eddie Punch, says the risk of the current volatile market needs to be spread more evenly among stakeholders.
The Clare Chair of the Beef Plan Movement believes minimum food pricing needs to be introduced.
It’s understood farming organisations remain in conversation with leading retailers about increasing prices of goods such as eggs, milk and flour.
Quilty farmer and former General Election candidate, Joseph Woulfe, says something has to give.