IFA President Joe Healy said the cynical intervention by the EuroCommerce group to try and block the European Parliament from introducing a ban on Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) by retailers must be resisted.
Members of the European Parliament are due to discuss the matter tomorrow.
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 is no foot-dragging on the issue.
“Irish farmers will be watching closely to ensure our MEPs do not give in to lobbying by greedy retailers. It is 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.
A recent survey by the EU Commission on the Common Agricultural Policy found that 97% of consumers are in favour of farmers getting a fairer return of the final consumer price.
Joe Healy rejected the spurious argument that there had been no discussion on this issue. “The EU Commission through Phil Hogan has brought forward important proposals and now retailers are looking to stonewall the entire process.”
The IFA President said that MEPs should reject the cynical attempts to block the legislation and move to stop Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs).