Food Ombudsman Needs Serious Powers to Provide Transparency in Beef Supply Chain
IFA President Tim Cullinan said the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue must immediately advance the establishment of Office of the Food Ombudsman/Regulator and underpin it with primary legislation to provide full transparency in the beef supply chain.
“The commitment from the Minister to provide more powers to the office in primary legislation is welcome and important,” he said.
He said the lack of regulatory and oversight powers to bring full transparency to the beef supply chain was very evident at today’s Beef Task Force meeting.
Grant Thornton informed the Task Force that it doesn’t have the authority to access the information needed to provide a detailed appraisal of the value of Irish beef from the farm to the consumer.
He said the draft report by Grant Thornton fails to provide the details on the value of Irish beef throughout the chain because of these constraints.
In his opening remarks to the Task Force meeting today, Minister McConalogue outlined the importance of greater transparency in the supply chain and he must now come forward with the primary legislation that allows the Office of the Food Ombudsman/Regulator provide this information.
Tim Cullinan said a public consultation is due to be launched to identify the extent of regulatory powers the office will need. This must commence immediately.
He said the Minister has committed to enacting this primary legislation before the end of the year.
The IFA President said the he raised the unjustified divergence from the Export Benchmark price by meat factories, particularly at a time when costs for finishers are increasing, highlighting the strength of the market conditions and the tightness of supplies. The gap now stands at 13c/kg.
He said prices have turned and are strengthening. The gap with the Export Benchmark price must be closed and factories must return the full value of the market place in beef price.