Challenges Facing Food Producers
This week we take a look at some of the challenges and issues facing Atlantis of Kilmore Quay and other producers alike throughout Ireland.
At the start of 2022 there were reductions in quota for cod caught in the Barents Sea, this puts further pressure on availability of Irish stocks & in turn increases the price on all cod consumed in Ireland & Europe. Since the start of the War in Ukraine people are less inclined to use Russian caught frozen cod.
Farmed Fish, Salmon, Trout & Bass
Farms are facing increased production, labour & feed costs, because of this we have seen a massive increases with salmon going up as much as 50%. Salmon has always been a staple on function menus but given the sharp increase, chefs are now turning to Irish trout instead.
Increases in diesel
Diesel is the largest input for fishing trawlers and it's having a huge effect on the cost of fish landed in Ireland, boats are having to stay out for longer to make trips profitable.
Atlantis, with a fleet of 15 vans, and are also noticing the pinch with the diesel increase, where possible we are making efficiencies to our delivery routes rather than taking the easy step of just increasing the price to our customers.
Availability and the cost of packing became a big headache during COVID, this hasn’t gotten any better with workers in Finland’s papermills only recently returning to work after a strike which lasted over 100 days. The increased packing costs are being seen by all food producers and are a factor in price increases across the retail sector.
The immediate problem facing everyone, producers and consumers, is inflation. It’s stark, and it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Overall inflation is expected to continue to rise, the main driver coming from outside forces, in particular, energy prices and global goods prices.
Attracting and retaining staff poses a major problem for food producers, the effects of Brexit and COVID have meant that industry workers are in short supply. The cost of labour has also steadily risen in recent times due to new employment legislation.
Sustainability is crucial and a significant challenge facing all producers – driven by social responsibility, customer demands and consumer expectations. Packaging, responsible sourcing and waste are the priorities for many companies. While consumers don’t like paying more for their shopping, the cost of eco-friendly packaging is high and so producers need to focus on minimising waste, in packaging and production, as well as reducing energy costs.
Erratic and ever-changing Global issues continue to affect the supply chain of raw materials for producers. Businesses are continually having to restructure their supply chain due to soaring fuel prices, driver shortages, the resurgence of COVID in China and the war in Ukraine. Brexit is also still an issue and the full impact on Irish businesses is still not 100% certain.
Price hikes in animal feed and fertilisers
Significant price hikes in animal feed and fertiliser are having a huge effect on farmers and growers. Fertiliser costs have hit record highs in recent months, more doubling and even tripling in costs in some cases. Supply of animal feed, due to be affected by the war in Ukraine, supply chain and weather, will be significantly disrupted which will inevitably impact costs.
Irish food producers face a surge of challenges with many struggling in current market conditions, however, despite this many producers still expect growth and will continue to produce high quality, safe and nutritious food.