IFA President Joe Healy said IFA will be making a detailed submission to the public consultation set up by the Dept of Agriculture to transpose EU legislation on Unfair Trading Practices into Irish law.
“There is provision for an independent retail regulator in the legislation, but this has to be transposed into Irish law. IFA has worked on this at European level and insisted there would have to be an independent enforcement authority in Ireland,” he said.
“Farmers do not have faith in the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to carry out this work. The enforcement authority, which will have powers to investigate complaints and levy fines, will have to be a properly-resourced, independent office,” he said.
The UK Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon will address a conference organised by IFA next month.
The conference Getting Fairness for Farmers in the Food Chain is part of IFA’s campaign to bring greater transparency and fairness for farmers in the food chain. It takes place in the Radisson BLU Hotel in Dublin Airport on Tues, Nov 5th.
“Retailers have a dominant position in the food chain and IFA wants the Government to introduce a retail ombudsman who will have strong independent oversight and regulation of the sector. Christine Tacon is the UK’s first Groceries Code Adjudicator and oversees the implementation of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice by designated retailers with their direct suppliers,” he said.
“This will be an opportunity to hear a first hand account of how a properly-established regulator operates between retailers and suppliers to ensure an even playing pitch,” he said.
IFA Brussels Director Liam MacHale will update on the EU plans for better market transparency.