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Gildernew calls for response to rising input costs for farmers

6 September, 2007

Sinn Féin Farming Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, is writing to supermarkets in the North about the impact that rising input costs (such as grain and feed prices) is having on farmers.

The Minister said:

"I have written to the supermarkets on the issue of input costs. This is due to escalating cereal prices caused by global trading conditions and the increased demand from the renewable energy sector in the US. This will cause serious economic problems for the foreseeable future.

"This is a critical issue for producers and they cannot be expected to continue making losses against this massive and increasing input cost. They are in a precarious situation and fear for their futures. This worries me greatly and I am determined to do all I can to address this.

"I am publicly calling for an open discussion between producers, processors and retailers to see what can be done urgently to better reflect, in retail prices, these increasing costs that jeopardise the whole supply chain.

"This issue is not about squeezing out a better deal with farmers but is about ensuring that they have a viable future. I intend to meet with the supermarkets and Grain Trade Association with a view to finding a way forward." ENDS

Note to Editors

The Minister is writing to Tesco, Sainsburys, ASDA, M & S, Musgrave Group, Henderson Group, Dunnes Stores, Curleys and Co-Op.

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