Following the sale of Superquinn to Musgraves, IFA President John Bryan said existing suppliers to Superquinn must be paid in full, and must be retained in any future arrangement to avoid disruption and job losses in their businesses.
John Bryan said the purchase of Superquinn by the Musgrave Group will leave three multiples in this country with well over 70% of the grocery market. “This underlines the urgency around the introduction of a Code of Practice, which must provide equity for primary producers in the food supply chain.”
He called on the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton to accelerate the process around the legislation and ensure the key issues to protect suppliers and primary producers were addressed in the Code of Practice.
In particular, the Code must ensure:
that unsustainable practices, including below cost selling are outlawed;
contracts between retailers and suppliers do not include provisions to support retailer promotions / discounting;
the principle of fair trade for farmers in the grocery sector by providing a means for the more equitable share-out of the consumer price across the food chain;
retailers are obliged to report details of their profitability and turnover in this country;
penalties are put in place to guarantee that retailers comply with the Code;
a limit is set on the use of own brands.
The IFA President said, “Along with a Code of Practice, the Government must legislate for an Independent Ombudsman office, which would have legal powers to demand information from retailers as part of their investigations and provide anonymity and confidentiality to suppliers who make complaints to initiate investigations and have the powers to enforce penalties for non-compliance.”