IFA President Tim Cullinan said he was shocked to learn that, in the middle of a pandemic which should have taught us all the importance to keep the food chain economically sustainable, some suppliers of fresh milk to the Irish retail trade appeared to have resumed aggressive undercutting practices to secure a slightly bigger share of a static market.
“There is competition, and then there are unfair, unsustainable practices, where retailers pressure suppliers to offer ever lower prices. The dairies that sell our milk need to wise up and resist those pressures – we know their inevitable results: the devaluation of a high quality, nutritious product and lower milk prices for farmers. That is not acceptable,” Mr Cullinan said.
“The new Programme for Government has promised us a National Food Ombudsman (NFO) to enforce the Unfair Trading Practices Directive. This latest example of unsustainable pricing pressures shows the urgency of the need for such proactive enforcement, and I call on the Taoiseach to make it clear to all retailers and the food industry that he will fast track the introduction of the NFO,” he said.
“Meanwhile, dairies need to cop on and resist retailer pressures, and retailers cannot have it both ways: proclaiming to seduce consumers with their commitment to sustainability, both environmental and societal, and riding roughshod over the economic sustainability of farmers,” he concluded.