IFA National Poultry Chairman Nigel Sweetnam has acknowledged the progress that the Minister for Agriculture has made to date on retail regulation, but said the new regulator must address the real problem.
“Farmers shouldn’t have to blockade or protest to get a fair price for their products. The use of poultry and other food as loss leaders has already put many farmers out of business. IFA cannot and will not stand by and let it continue,” he said.
“This practice creates the expectation from the consumer that the core items in their shopping basket should come at a very cheap, and unsustainable, price. Farmers are price takers, and we are calling on the Minister to show true leadership on this,” he said.
“We do sympathise with financially-challenged consumers, but it must be recognised that we as food producers also face the same cost challenges,” he said.
Nigel Sweetnam said farmers must get their fair slice of the retail price so they can continue producing food sustainably into the future.
“The Government’s spend of €4m on a regulator must protect farmers and primary food producers. The taxpayers of this country deserve nothing less,” he said.