Moy Park decision a blow to producers

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A decision by Moy park to temporarily close its Ballymena processing plant and North Antrim Hatchery has been described as a ‘blow’ to NI poultry producers.

Moy Park this week said it will stop slaughtering birds at the factory until January next year and its north Antrim hatchery will also be out of operation until November this year. The move is due to ‘challenging market conditions.”

Following the announcement UFU deputy president, David Brown said it was yet another blow to Northern Ireland poultry producers.

He added: “Many are already facing massive cash flow pressures within their businesses following the recent amendment to RHI tariffs and this news is likely to mean a further income hit.

“Moy Park is Northern Ireland’s largest employer and made profits of over £72 million in 2017. While they have said the decision is temporary, producers are very disappointed that the company cannot stand by them during this period of weaker demand.

“In recent years, retailers have been reluctant to pass on inflationary rises and the cost of the living wage to consumers and there is continuous pressure for the supply chain to reduce its costs. Yet again we have seen this squeeze come onto the primary producer and there is a very real risk that some farmers will have to close their business,” he added.