Irish Forums Message Discussion :: UK store M&S back down to Irish sheep farmers

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UK store M&S back down to Irish sheep farmers

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Irish Business News Discussion:     UK store M&S back down to Irish sheep farmers

Marks and Spencer (M&S)said that Irish spring lamb will be on sale in all of its Irish stores from next week.
The announcement follows todays protest by more than 200 Irish sheep farmers outside the retail groups Grafton Street's Marks and Spencers store.
The Irish Farmers Association accused M&S of 'decimating Irish spring lamb producers' by selling New Zealand lamb when, the IFA says, Irish-produced premium quality product is freely available at a competitive price.
IFA President Padraig Walshe said that the future of the 400m a year Irish sheep sector is under threat from imports into the EU, primarily from New Zealand.
He said: 'Total Irish lamb production is 70,000 tonnes per year, while New Zealand is allowed an EU import quota of over three times this amount, at 227,000 tonnes.'
In response Marks and Spencer said that Irish spring lamb will be on sale in all thirteen of its Irish stores next week. M&S also says it stocks Irish beef, venison, salmon, chicken, bacon, eggs, milk, cheeses, potatoes, vegetables, salads and bakery products.
Ten years ago there were 43,000 sheep producers in Ireland, this has fallen to 33,000. In the last seven years sheep breeding numbers have dropped to 2.9 million from 4.5 million.

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