25 May 2011
IFA PRESIDENT VOWS TO CONTINUE CAMPAIGN FOR FAIR PLAY FOR FARMERSUncategorized
Addressing thousands of farmers at the IFA protest in Dublin today (Wed), IFA President John Bryan vowed that the Association would not stop in its efforts to secure fair play for farmers. He was critical of the Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton who has refused to meet IFA on legislation to curb retailer dominance.
John Bryan said the raid by the Competition Authority on the Irish Farm Centre two weeks ago was an attempt to muzzle farmers, but it would not succeed. “The Competition Authority is going after the wrong target. Farming is more transparent than any other sector when it comes to margins, incomes and costs. Everyone knows what price we receive, what income we earn and what costs we have. But the retail giants and processors are hiding their multi-million euro profits from the public. Any law that protects retailers and criminalises farmers is wrong.”
Mr Bryan said, “The fact is the Competition Authority is not fit for purpose, and neither is the legislation. Lawmakers in Europe are looking at curbing retailer power, but in this country, they go after the soft targets such as farmers.”
The IFA President said what farm families want is the cost of production and a margin to make a living. He said, “The Government must rebalance power between producers, suppliers and retailers and producers must get a fair share of the retail price. There has to be a Statutory Code of Conduct for the retail sector and an Independent Ombudsman to investigate retailers’ abuses. If the Competition Authority fails to tackle the real cartels and price fixers, Minister Bruton should abolish it, as it’s just another costly quango the taxpayers cannot afford.”