Many of our suppliers are small, family-run businesses and we recognise that this is a difficult time for them. To assist them with their cashflow requirements at this time, we will be initiating invoice payments as we receive them, and will process payments within five days, rather than the current 14-day period. This change commenced from Wednesday 25th March for an initial three-month period for over 200 small Irish food and drinks companies, and has now been extended until mid-August.
As one of the largest purchasers of Irish agrifood, we are conscious of supporting our suppliers, many of whom are facing challenges as a result of market dynamics, particularly changes in the food service sector. In the beef sector, we maintained the price paid to processors for beef at January levels, until June this year.
In horticulture, we also recently confirmed a further extension of our 20-year relationship with Country Crest for the supply of potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes in a two and a half-year contract worth €62.5million. Sourcing from farmers all around Ireland, this should give confidence to the wider sector at this time.