Speaking from Brussels where the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament will today discuss the EU Food Chain report on increased price transparency and independent enforcement to strengthen farmers’ position with retailers, Irish Farmers Association President Joe Healy said it is critical that these recommendations are introduced without delay and actively enforced to rebalance power in favour of farmers.
The EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan will also attend the hearing and Joe Healy said the onus is on Commissioner Hogan to push forward with the recommendations.
Joe Healy said, “The report contains important recommendations on increased price transparency and independent enforcement to strengthen farmers’ position in the food chain. The Commission must introduce mandatory and timely price reporting for meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables to provide reliable data on prices and margins outside the farmgate through to consumer level”.
The IFA President also support the recommendations for effective and independent enforcement of retail regulations at Member State level and the proposal for new rules at EU level to cover Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs). Suppliers must have confidence that complaints will be investigated, regulations will be complied with and abuses prosecuted.
Joe Healy said, “The report recognises the need for independent enforcement of retail regulation and this effectively supports IFA’s demand for an independent retail Ombudsman. This is necessary to assure suppliers that complaints will be investigated and abuses prosecuted”.