IFA’s Retail Project Team, led by President John Bryan, has met with Government Facilitator John Travers to progress a statutory Code of Practice to provide more equity for farmers in the food supply chain.
Speaking after the meeting, John Bryan expressed disappointment at the lack of progress in securing a Code of Practice. Mr Travers advised that consultation with the industry stakeholders is due to be completed, after which he will report back to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe TD on his findings with a view to putting into practice a voluntary code for the grocery goods sector.
In parallel with this, Mr. Travers informed the IFA delegation that the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation was finalising the legislation on the grocery goods sector as outlined in the Programme for Government and it is hoped to submit this before the year-end. This legislation will see the merging of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency and will also provide for the introduction of a statutory Code of Practice in the grocery goods sector.
Members of the IFA Project Team – including the Committee Chairmen of the main commodities of beef, pig, poultry, dairy and fresh produce – reiterated to Mr. Travers the producer difficulties in the food supply chain and the continuous downward pressure on the farm gate price while the retailers pocket millions from their margins.
The IFA delegation also met with the Chief Executive of Bord Bia Aidan Cotter and senior management to further highlight the need for clearer labelling of Republic of Ireland produce. The IFA Commodity Chairmen stressed the need for clearer identification of produce on the retail shelves so that consumers are fully informed of the origin of the food they are buying.