Sit-in protest by farmers at Department over carcass ‘trimming’ ends after deal reached

A sit-in protest by farmers at the Department of Agriculture ended late last night, after a deal was reached between the IFA and the minister.

The farmers were demonstrating against the practice of ‘trimming’.

It involves meat factories trimming animal carcasses before they’re weighed – and means farmers get paid less than they should.

The Department of Agriculture has agreed to name and shame meat processors who carry out trim offences.

Affected farmers will also be compensated.


Meanwhile, the two biggest shopping weekends of the year are on the way.

And it has prompted IFA President Joe Healy to warn retailers against discounting fresh produce in the run-up to Christmas.

He says using farm produce as a tool to drive footfall undermines Irish production and the financial viability of specialist growers and producers.

He says farmers have invested hugely in their businesses to ensure sufficient supplies of fresh Irish produce for Christmas, and retailers have to respect this investment.

Launching IFA’s Christmas Food Producers’ campaign, Mr Healy said it’s been a very tough year, with significant extra costs because of the drought conditions during the summer.

He recalled that when Ireland was hit by a snowstorm last March, supermarket shelves immediately ran out of milk and bread – two products that Irish consumers expect to be available.

The IFA has also denounced the unsustainable discounting of fresh milk by retailers.

Milk at 65c-67c/l is less than it costs to produce, process and put on the shelf, the farm organisation points out.

Joe Healy said the Grocery Goods regulations introduced in 2016 totally neglected to address unsustainable discounting, and he re-iterated IFA’s call on the Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys to introduce an independent retail regulator.