IFA President Joe Healy has been elected Chairman of the COPA Working Party on the Food Chain, a high-level group representing farmers across all EU Member States, which will be pushing for tangible reform of the food chain in Brussels.
Mr Healy, who was elected in Brussels today, said it was a great honour to be elected by the members of COPA and that he was committed to working through COPA to convince the political system of the need for primary producers to be treated with more equity.
The IFA President said the work of the group would complement the efforts of IFA in Ireland to ensure the effective enforcement of the new Grocery Regulations.
“Across all EU Member States, there is an urgent need for a rebalancing of power in the food supply chain. The aggressive behaviour of dominant retailers towards smaller suppliers, particularly vegetable, fruit and potato growers, must be stopped.
“Farmers need the protection of statutory legislation in all Member States. The Voluntary Supply Chain Initiative (SCI) undertaken by the Commission is clearly not working for primary producers. If it continues unchecked, retail power and big business will destroy the Irish and European family farm structure and undermine food security for the EU’s 500 million consumers. Strong legislation in needed at European level to address this issue.”
Continuing, Mr Healy said Governments across all Member States must support the Commission proposal that all large multinationals, including retailers and processors, will be obliged to publish their profits in each member state.