FARMERS in Co. Kildare are staging a 12-hour blockade at an Aldi distribution centre in a protest of beef prices.
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has made the stand outside the Aldi nationwide warehouse in Naas, blocking access to delivery trucks.
At 7am on Thursday morning, dozens of Irish farmers, with their tractors, stationed themselves at the entrance of the distribution centre, preventing trucks from entering and leaving , grinding the supermarket's delivery lines to a halt.
The farmers are protesting the low prices they're paid for their beef and cattle.
A 12 hour blockade of ALDI distribution centre in Naas is underway by farmers belonging to the IFA. They’re demanding a fair price for their beef. Trucks are lining up to get into and out of the site. pic.twitter.com/7UcAwXgOdX
— Shane Beatty (@ShaneBeattyNews) December 5, 2019
The IFA said it is "demanding a significant and immediate beef price increase to bring the Irish beef price at least in line with the Bord Bia European Export Benchmark Price Index".
IFA President Joe Healy says the price differences have left farmers very angry, and that they are being "short changed" by meat factories and retailer across the country.
"Over the past two weeks that has even opened up further to a 20c average between Ireland and the EU and a 50c average difference between Ireland and the UK," said Mr Healy.
"There is huge anger, huge frustration among the farmers here."
They've warned that unless beef prices increase, more protests will be carried out.
"Farmers won’t accept any more stalling or a Mickey Mouse price increase. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be at the EU Export Benchmark Price," continued Healy.
"We will continue to take action until processors give a significant price increase."
The Naas facility is one of Aldi’s two national distribution centres, the other is in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, and delivers produce to stores in counties all over Ireland.
Set up at @Aldi_Ireland in Naas for the next 12 hours. Retailers are part of the beef supply chain that's broken. @joehealyfarmer will be on @morningireland after 8am. pic.twitter.com/YM2d4ZOe7J
— Irish Farmers' Association (@IFAmedia) December 5, 2019
A spokesperson for Aldi said the company is "extremely disappointed" by today’s protest.
"We welcomed the resumption of the Beef Taskforce this week and have engaged openly with farmer representative organisations on the beef issue over recent months.
"Aldi is fully committed to cooperating with the Beef Taskforce and met with the one of the representative groups, the BPM, as recently as last week to further update our position."