November 22, 2012

 

Ireland's poultry industry fights for survival on surging imports

 

 

Ireland's poultry and egg processors have cautioned that a surge of imports supplying the retail and catering sector has made the country's poultry industry to fight for survival.

 

Poultry meat imports into Ireland have increased by 74% from 49,133 tonnes in 2002 to 85,361 tonnes in 2011.

 

Imports from Brazil increased by 245% from 1,165 tonnes in 2002 to 4,022 tonnes in 2011, while imports from Thailand rose by 472% from 1,227 tonnes to 7,029 tonnes last year.

 

More than 100 producers and processors attended a crisis meeting in Cootehill, Co Cavan on Friday night (Nov 16), where they warned that thousands of Irish jobs were under threat unless the poultry industry stayed viable.

 

The producers and processors group is now seeking urgent talks with Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and will lobby him for the establishment of a new Poultry Council.

 

The new body would, it was claimed, lead to marketing stability with uniform support for all facets of the industry from egg and chicken production right through to retail distribution.

 

Meanwhile, farmers in the southeast are anxiously waiting for a High Court judgement that will decide the fate of Cappoquin Poultry. The beleaguered company, which has been in examinership since August, is at the centre of last-ditch rescue efforts by a group of local chicken suppliers.

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