Concerns raised as Moy Park reduces production within Northern Ireland

Moy Park is to reduce its production within Northern Ireland, citing the cost and accessibility of raw materials, energy prices and labour availability as the reasons for their decision.

The slaughter of live birds is to be suspended at their site in Ballymena, County Antrim, until later in the year.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has expressed ‘deep concern’ about the news.

UFU deputy president, William Irvine, said: “Our members are extremely disappointed and worried about Moy Park pulling back on production here.

“It is the second time this has happened in less than three years and will create ongoing income pressures.

“Poultry producers have been hit hard in recent times and they’ve been exhausting every avenue to sustain their family farm businesses.

“Moy Park has said that they aim to get the slaughtering of live birds in the Ballymena site going again in September when a major contract with Sainsbury’s will begin, but in the meantime, we will be liaising closely with Moy Park to ensure this is managed with minimal impact.

“It’s important that consumers understand that the increasing input costs to produce food is going to affect the cost of food for them.

“Neither farmers or processors can produce food, meeting extra production costs, without receiving a fair return from the marketplace.

“Therefore, it’s going to have a rippling affect down the food chain,” he concluded.