IFA President Tim Cullinan said that the Irish horticulture sector is haemorrhaging, and the long-promised Office of Fairness and Transparency in the Agri Food Supply Chain led by the Food Regulator must be established without further delay.
Speaking after a well-attended National Horticulture meeting in Meath this week, Tim Cullinan said that illegal and unfair trading practises at any stage of the supply chain will not be tolerated, and IFA will bring these to the attention of the relevant authorities.
“Our sustainable horticultural sector is in demise and the Office of Fairness and Transparency must be robust and the legislation must give real powers to address these longstanding issues before the industry is completely eroded,” Tim Cullinan said.
IFA Fruit and Vegetable Committee Chair Niall McCormack said industry had lost key growers in the past 2 years, and many growers present at our meeting are hanging on by a knife edge.
“It is projected that the area of field vegetables will contract by a minimum of 7% again this year. This downward trajectory cannot continue,” Niall McCormack said.
“Irish growers are proactive and positive by nature. At the meeting stakeholders discussed what our industry can do in terms of self-promotion and marketing, collaboration, and research to overcome challenges but none of this is relevant if we are not in business,” he added.
“We should be shouting about the positive attributes of our sector in terms of food security and our environmentally sustainable produce, however, time and time again we are in crisis mode to save our sector. It simply cannot continue,” he concluded.