Fairer Return to Producers Will Be Real Test of New Regulations for Retailers


Reacting to the Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Sean Sherlock’s address to Seanad Eireann last week on the regulation of practices in the grocery goods sector, IFA President John Bryan said the the new legislation would be judged by its effectiveness in curbing retailer dominance and securing more equity in the food supply chain for primary producers.

John Bryan said, “IFA has campaigned for a long time for this legislation, and the Government has finally signalled that legislation is on the way. However, it must be sufficiently robust to restore equity to the food supply chain and curb the dominance of the retail multiples, who now control nearly 90% of the grocery market”.

“The retail multiples are over dominant in the food supply chain and are engaged in unfair and predatory pricing practices, which are impacting very negatively on the viability of primary producers. Strong and effective legislation, both at national and EU level, is needed to ensure producers are paid a fair price which reflects production costs and leaves an acceptable margin.”

The IFA President warned that without proper enforcement powers, the role of the Ombudsman as envisaged in the legislation will be toothless. IFA is opposed to the Ombudsman coming from the new amalgamated body of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency as was outlined by Minister Sherlock last week. “There is little point in the Government fulfilling its promise if it doesn’t provide the necessary back-up to tackle the retailers”.

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