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Anger at Termination of Barley Contracts

10 March 2010

IRELAND - Traditional malting barley growers who have had their contracts terminated by Greencore staged a protest at the company’s EGM in Dublin on Tuesday.

The meeting is being held to approve the sale of the malting business to French co-op Axereal.

Irish Farmers Association President John Bryan said: "Greencore cannot axe contracts for 500 growers without redress before they sell off the business. The company has a corporate and moral obligation to these growers to resolve this issue.

"Loyal barley growers who have been the bedrock of a very profitable malting operation have a legitimate expectation to be treated fairly in the restructuring of the business in advance of it transferring to the new owners Axereal.”

Mr Bryan called on the management and shareholders of Greencore to deal equitably and fairly with affected farm families, and to ensure that their concerns are addressed immediately.

“The situation has been handled very poorly by Greencore, and has become a very divisive issue among growers on the ground. Greencore must address the problem now, if the new owners are to be welcomed here and enjoy the goodwill and support of Irish farmers,” he said.

IFA Grain Committee Chairman Noel Delany said: “The company’s failure to communicate with or return calls directly to growers who are losing contracts is an unacceptable way to deal with dedicated suppliers. Once again we have a decision foisted on growers at the point of sowing when many farmers already had made commitments, financial and otherwise, to banks, leasing companies etc. on the strength of these contracts. Those farmers are now left high and dry, a situation, which is completely deplorable.”

TheCropSite News Desk

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