IFA President Joe Healy said the decision by the European Parliament today to give the green light to discussions on banning Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) is an important step for farmers.
“This move endorses the work done by Commissioner Phil Hogan to address the imbalance in the food chain and we can now progress to the next phase. It’s a significant recognition of the fight by farmers to have this issue addressed”.
Joe Healy, who is also Vice President of the European farming umbrella body COPA and chairs that organisation’s Committee on the Food Chain in Brussels, said IFA had again lobbied all Irish MEPs in recent days to ensure there was no foot-dragging on the issue.
The strong vote – 428 in favour & 170 against – shows that MEPs did not give in to lobbying by greedy retailers. It was quite hypocritical of the same group to be talking about transparency given the lack of clarity around margins in the food chain,” he said.
As part of the work of the agri markets task force in Brussels, which recommended these changes, it was estimated that UTPs cost co-ops & farmers in the EU nearly €11bn annually.